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Carolina buys time, re-signs Ward for two years

Carolina Hurricanes v New York Islanders

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 29: Cam Ward #30 of the Carolina Hurricanes in action against the New York Islanders during their game at the Barclays Center on March 29, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

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Cam Ward is staying in Carolina. The Hurricanes announced today that they’d re-signed the 32-year-old goalie to a two-year contract with a $3.3 million cap hit.

“Cam has been a major face of the Hurricanes both on the ice and in our community for more than a decade,” said GM Ron Francis. “We are happy he has chosen to continue his career in Carolina.”

Ward has been with the ‘Canes his entire NHL career. He won the Conn Smythe Trophy as a rookie during their Stanley Cup run in 2006.

But there’s a reason he had to take a significant pay cut. The past four seasons, he has not put up particularly good numbers. In 2015-16, during which he earned a salary of $6.8 million, he went 23-17-5 with a .909 save percentage.

The ‘Canes now have both Ward and Eddie Lack under contract through 2017-18, for a combined cap hit of just $6.05 million. Both can become unrestricted free agents when their deals are done. In the meantime, 20-year-old prospect Alex Nedeljkovic will get an opportunity to hone his game in the minors, and there will almost certainly be an expansion draft.

Related: Watch out for the Carolina Hurricanes