It seems as if we can say goodbye to Jason Ward in a Habs uniform. In a bit of a surprise move, the Habs have decided not to qualify the 26-year-old Ward’s 669,000 salary for the upcoming season. This does not, however, mean he can’t resign with the club for a lower amount.
You would think that hardworking, two way players such as Ward would be something that we could use more of. Instead, the 6’3″ former First Round Pick in 1997 and 2002-03 AHL MVP will likely find work elsewhere.
In the end, it’s not a huge loss for the CH. There are plenty of able bodies coming up through Hamilton. And, in addition to that, who knows what will happen over the next few days on the free agent market. Perhaps there is a player similiar to Ward, though one who skates a little bit cleaner and is perhaps a little bit less injury prone, who GM Bob Gainey has his eye on.
While on the ice Ward may not have been something entirely special, he gave his all for the team each and every shift. It’s almost sad to see a guy like this leave the organization, even if players such as himself are a dime a dozen these days.
Ward had 54 points in 77 games with the Bulldogs this year. During his last season with the big club, 2003-04, Ward posted 12 points and a +3 rating in 53 games.
Best of luck to a guy who appears to be leaving Montreal after giving his all on every night that he found himself a spot in the lineup.