Joel Ward on his transition from player to coach


During his four years as a member of the Washington Capitals, Joel Ward established a reputation as being a bit of an over-sleeper.

Now as an assistant coach for the Henderson Silver Knights, the AHL affiliate for the Vegas Golden Knights, the former Capital was asked a very important question by NBC Sports Washington analyst Alan May -- on behalf of his Ward's former teammate Karl Alzner -- during Ward's appearance on Capitals Pregame Live on Tuesday.

"Karl was telling us, are you guys going to have afternoon practices?" May asked. "Because he said you've had a lifelong battle with the alarm clock."

A chuckling Ward had the perfect response.

"I figured the alarm clock was going to come up sooner or later," Ward said. "I like the pregame nap, let's just say that."

After taking the roast on the chin, Ward became serious and explained how the adjustment from player to coach has gone for him. After retiring from the NHL this past April, Ward's job with Henderson is his first as a coach.

"It's been a great adjustment for me. I'm learning...But that transition has been amazing," Ward said.

"I'm having an unbelievable time. I'm learning, every day it's something new," Ward continued. "Obviously, the preparation that goes into it is a lot different than as a player. So those are the small things they've been showing me the ropes and teaching me. Just try to share my experiences with some of these guys and hopefully it pays off in the long run."


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Away from the ice, Ward shook off his long naps pretty well during his time with the Capitals and always arrived at the rink dressed to the nines. The 40-year-old had (and still has) an incredible sense of style, something that rubbed off on several of his former teammates, including Alzner, who drew barbs and compliments for his tie choice on the show.

"One of the things I learned most from Joel was sense of style. This guy should have been a CEO on Wall Street or something like that," Alzner said. "Anyone who watched the Vegas game when you're on the bench, I mean that was a jacket. If anyone is going to give me credit for dressing okay, it's all going to go to you, Big Cheese."