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The Great Cam Ward Debate Thread: Re-sign? Trade?

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I guess if we have this kinda thread on Eric we should have one on Cam.

 

I'm posting this after Cam looked awful for two periods in NYC (and not great in two others in New York State [buffalo] a couple nights earlier). He got super pissed after giving up two real softies at MSG, then played lights out in the third, keeping the Canes in it as they threw all they had at Lundqvist. But...

 

This has been the pattern; the NYR game could be a synopsis of Cam's work in recent years. He can be very good when he's focused, and there's no question he is more focused on those rare occasions when the team has given him run support. It also seems (to my eye) the D plays with more confidence in front of him. So, with his contract up at the end of this year, here are my questions:

 

- Should Cam come back?

- How much is wack?

- Do we trust in Lack?

 

I believe Cam when he says he wants to stay here. I like that he cares enough to let his emotions show. I'm also nervous about rolling the dice on Lack at this stage, and about the potential for instability in an area of our game where we pretty much know what we'll get.

 

But we're also a team in transition; if the right deal for Cam came along, what would it look like?

Edited by top-shelf-1

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First, just because we don't know what we have in Lack, is not a reason to keep Cam Ward.  Although to be fair, our prospects at this position are somewhat weak.

 

Cam's days as a starter seem to be behind him.  Just my opinion, based on what I've seen this year.  I think I know exactly what we get with Ward and it's not good enough to keep him.

 

Let him go for whatever comes back, which likely won't be much.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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Goaltenders tend not to bring in huge dividends as rentals.  Even if Ward were having a career season, i'd say Francis would be damned lucky to even get a 2nd-rounder for him.  But, obviously, Ward isn't having a career season.  So what would Francis get for him?  A consolation prize.  Unless, again, a playoff team suffers a goaltender injury come January - in which case maybe he could bring in a 2nd after all.  Simply put, Ward is worth more right now to the Hurricanes than he would be to any other team in the NHL.

 

Unless there's a GM out there who severely overvalues Ward or who goes into panic mode, i don't see much more than a 5th- or 6th-rounder.  If anyone offers up even a 2nd- or 3rd-rounder, i'm on the phone with Ward's agent trying to make it happen.  Otherwise i just coast until the end of the season, offer him $3M for 3 years, and take it or leave it.

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The argument to keep Ward to solidify the goalie situation going forward makes sense if he solidifies the goalie position.  That, I'm not so sure of.  Stats don't tell everything, but they are a good indicator of quality of play.

 

***Canes are #1 in the league in being stingy with allowing shots on goal.

***Canes are #29 in the league in save percentage.  Ward has played in 19 of 24 games, so this falls mostly on his shoulders.  Ward is #59 amongst goalies at .898 and Lack is #67 at .874. 

***Canes are #24 in goals against per game, which is unreal considering they allow the least amount of shots.

 

Last season the Canes were #27 in the league in league in save percentage with Ward playing in 51 games, so we aren't talking about a small sample size.  Exactly how does keeping Ward solidify the goalie position?  Yes, he's the devil we know, but is that a reason to keep him around unless he comes ultra cheap?  Even then, I think it's time to try something or someone different.  We don't know if Lack is the answer, but (in my opinion) we know Cam isn't at this point.

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How about we give Lack 80% of the starts over the next 25 games. That way we will have a good comparison. By the way, why did we start Cam last night?  With the record he has against the Rangers at MSG are truly appalling.  Was it 1 win in the last 12 with a GAA of 4.33 . Perfect opportunity to start Lack unless you had a feeling that the heavens would open up and with a Cam win it would start raining money. Maybe our stats guy should have a long talk with the suits on the bench.

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 Good luck finding a better number one goaltender that wants to come to a last place team that scores an average of one goal per night.  It certainly doesn't seem to be Lack.  Ward made some amazing saves against the Rangers and gave up a couple softies.  It happens to every sports player in the world, they have bad nights.  Ward is our best option unless we have a star in the making down in Charlotte which doesn't seem to be the case either.  It's not easy being the goal tender for a team that can't put the puck in the back of the opposing net.....ever,....for 3 straight seasons.  Start scoring, winning, having something to play for and I would bet Ward carries us to a lot of wins. 

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It's not easy being the goal tender for a team that can't put the puck in the back of the opposing net.....ever,....for 3 straight seasons. 

 

 

No, but it should be damned easy being the goaltender for the team that is allowing the fewest shots on goal in the entire league (sure, the quality of those shots is high, but damn...).  I'm not saying Ward's the best we can do nor the worst we can do.  He isn't stealing too many games, nor is he single-handedly losing too many games (though i agree last night is probably on his shoulders).  The $3M/3 years i mentioned, yeah, it's probably 'home town bonus', but i think we can live with it (and it certainly beats the $6.8M he's getting this year, yes?).  But the long and the short of it is that regardless whether Francis re-signs him and at what price, nobody's giving Francis 1st-rounder + prospect for what is now 2.53gaa and .898%.

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 Good luck finding a better number one goaltender that wants to come to a last place team that scores an average of one goal per night.  It certainly doesn't seem to be Lack.  Ward made some amazing saves against the Rangers and gave up a couple softies.  It happens to every sports player in the world, they have bad nights.  Ward is our best option unless we have a star in the making down in Charlotte which doesn't seem to be the case either.  It's not easy being the goal tender for a team that can't put the puck in the back of the opposing net.....ever,....for 3 straight seasons.  Start scoring, winning, having something to play for and I would bet Ward carries us to a lot of wins. 

 

Two month into the season and Lack has 5 starts. Give him some more starts then decide . At Cam's age he is not the future of this team.

Edited by winger52

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Was that: 

 

resign:  verb  1) to renew a contract at the end of the original contract's term.

 

or

 

resign: verb    1) voluntarily leave a job or other position.

 

                        2) accept that something undesirable cannot be avoided.

 

Because, I am thinking it is either of the latter.

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You have to separate your emotions from this one. Sure, my heart wants Ward to stay a few more years and I'm sure he wants to stay. But, he's been terrible for a while and needs a change as do the Canes. I doubt he gets traded though. Even without his atrocious SV% he still carries a ton of salary and has the no trade clause. I actually think it would be relatively easy to find a cheaper, younger goalie to run the show with Lack for a bit until one our prospects emerges (hopefully)

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Monday night is poker night and I forgot to record the game so no comments on Wards performance last night.  But I do wonder if the nature of the Canes D might be hurt our goalies save percentages a bit.  It's true that we're stingy regarding the number of shots we give up. But it seems like we have more than our share of defensive breakdowns where we give up easy scoring chances.  If that's true, wouldn't the goals resulting from those easy chances deflate your goalies save percentages even more than a team that gives up a lot of shots (because of the smaller denominator)?

 

Not to say our goalies haven't given up soft goals as well. I wonder how we compare to most NHL teams in that regard? I will say this for Ward, though. He has some spectacular saves and I think those have got to offset some of his weak goals just a bit.

Edited by LakeLivin

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You have to separate your emotions from this one. Sure, my heart wants Ward to stay a few more years and I'm sure he wants to stay. But, he's been terrible for a while and needs a change as do the Canes. I doubt he gets traded though. Even without his atrocious SV% he still carries a ton of salary and has the no trade clause. I actually think it would be relatively easy to find a cheaper, younger goalie to run the show with Lack for a bit until one our prospects emerges (hopefully)

 The team needs change but do you really want to be one of those teams that's shuffling around goaltenders from the  AHL, and back up NHLer's trying to find a new possible starter?  We have enough problems we need to fix, I don't think Goaltending is one of them.  I think if this team can find a scoring touch and learn to win some more games than Ward steps it up.   He is more than capable to  carry us as a number one because he's better than any backup in the league and he's better than any AHLer available

 

. I'd like to see the change happen in the top 6 since our top 6 does not score.  We cannot put it all on Ward if we don't score goals.   as far as his sv% goes as of late......I think it reflects the fact that the team as a whole is in a negative place and hangs him out to dry. When he has played some of his best games of the year we still give him the 2-1OT loss instead of putting a few goals in and finishing his hard work.  Hard to be awesome when their is no positive going on.

 

As far as $ goes, He and E. staal have to be prepared to take 1/3-1/2pay cuts.  Nobody is going to offer either one any better than that.

Edited by danimal-ch1

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I think RF was praying for a miraculous run and since we haven't we have to give Lack a solid stretch of games to see what his worth is going forward. Without that analysis RF is cheating himself out of valuable information before he makes his final decision on Ward. 

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 The team needs change but do you really want to be one of those teams that's shuffling around goaltenders from the  AHL, and back up NHLer's trying to find a new possible starter?  We have enough problems we need to fix, I don't think Goaltending is one of them.  I think if this team can find a scoring touch and learn to win some more games than Ward steps it up.   He is more than capable to  carry us as a number one because he's better than any backup in the league and he's better than any AHLer available

 

. I'd like to see the change happen in the top 6 since our top 6 does not score.  We cannot put it all on Ward if we don't score goals.   as far as his sv% goes as of late......I think it reflects the fact that the team as a whole is in a negative place and hangs him out to dry. When he has played some of his best games of the year we still give him the 2-1OT loss instead of putting a few goals in and finishing his hard work.  Hard to be awesome when their is no positive going on.

 

As far as $ goes, He and E. staal have to be prepared to take 1/3-1/2pay cuts.  Nobody is going to offer either one any better than that.

 

I'm sorry but I just can't get with the Ward apologetics anymore. Sure, he's had great games against Colorado, Edmonton, etc. but these are teams that are just as awful as us. Sure, Ward does get hung out to dry on the PK sometimes and when Hainsey picks in the puck or tosses it to Kopitar right in front of the net, but last night spoke for itself. The team put up 3 goals on the king but Ward let in two horrible, horrible goals. Even for the first two, you could say they were excusable because they were high risk shots, but you should still expect your goalie to make saves on some of those. It doesn't matter if Ward is making incredible, athletic saves if he's still letting in softies due to bad positioning or just a general lack of poise.

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if he's still letting in softies due to bad positioning or just a general lack of poise.

 

Or passing directly to the rushing opposing team.

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I'm still waiting to hear the explanation of how keeping a goalie who has led his team to 29th in the league in save% this year and 27th last year is solidifying the goalie position. 

 

I argued for years that the shots against was killing the goalie.  This year, that argument has been taken away.  I argued for years that you can't place the blame on the goalie when the team wasn't scoring.  That's still the case, but I'm not blaming the losing on Ward.  I'm saying that Ward's stats do not support him being re-signed here.

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In terms of Cam's peformance this year, I would say pretty good most games, but distressingly bad the last two. He has kept us in games and while we may have limited total shots, there have been many games where those shots are one point blank after another.

 

That said, I agree w/ Top that the last two, and most of his bad games appear to be lack of focus. The problem of course is that this has been an age old problem of consistency. Overall hadn't seen much of that this year until the last two where there has been far too much of it.

 

THAT said, it is hard to imagine his trade value being worth trading him right now. I know we seem to be drafting better, but still, the odds of a 5th round player being anything more than AHL material is very small. If we are talking anything less than a 3rd rounder it is a no brainer to me, and I wouldn't take anything less than a second rounder. I'm not saying he's worth more, just why take it?

 

I probably take a projected mid to upper second rounder though.

 

Still, Cam's save percentage at the moment makes him almost untradable I think. So, mix him in w/ Lack, see if he can get his game back on track for a deadline deal to a team in sudden need. Cam does have a distant, but real playoff pedigree. Maybe someone gets needy.

 

On a new contract for him? No more than Lack and for goodness sake, NO NTC, not even a little one.

 

For Cam, I see his deal pretty separate from if we trade him. I could see us trading him after signing him. I could see us keeping him and not signing him, and either deadlining him or even just letting him walk.

 

Cam has not earned the unwaivering "ride the stud" respect he's mostly gotten from our coaches in recent years, and not now either. I'm thinking part of that was to let him get his save % up to become more tradable. He's gone the other way. Give Lack a look. Sign Cam if he's willing to take a massive pay cut and drop the NTC, trade him if you get a top 45 draft pick, otherwise hold till that or the deadline arrives.

Edited by remkin

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His numbers are not great, never have been.

 

It "felt" like he was doing mid-range for the league until the last 2 games.  Last night was arguably the worst I have seen him play.

 

Since Cam seems to do better when he is relaxed and enjoying the game, my conclusion is that that trade uncertainty has crept into his mind and that is trouble for being relaxed.

 

One part of me wants to say he is seeing less shots and the conventional wisdom is that it is harder to play goal when you see fewer shots and stay focused.  However, you can't have that argument AND have the argument that he faced too many shots in previous years.

 

In this new world of fancy stats there are shot charts that help to determine the quality level of the shots faced.  I think I may do some digging into that a bit.  The gut feel is that he may be facing fewer shots but a higher percentage of difficult shots.  

 

Or I may just find out he sucks.  

 

My gut feel still is he is around the 15-20th ranked goalie in the league.  Surely not top notch but still a starter in this league.  The hard thing is that no one is going to be parting with a top 10 guy. 

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Was that: 

 

resign:  verb  1) to renew a contract at the end of the original contract's term.

 

or

 

resign: verb    1) voluntarily leave a job or other position.

 

                        2) accept that something undesirable cannot be avoided.

 

Because, I am thinking it is either of the latter.

Heh.

 

Actually, I realized the minute the post went up that the form I used was not the one I wanted, because (no matter what dictionaries and style manuals say) the only acceptable form (to me) is "re-sign," as in, "to sign again" (per the first form you cite, accepted in the literature - completely without basis, I might add - as it may be).

 

In case you weren't already sure, you really don't want to get me started on this. I hate that some vocabularian nincompoop someplace is messing with the perfectly reasonable hyphenated forms of words like this one. "Reelect" is another you see all the time - and, to me, it is just as wrong and crazy, and funny-looking on top of that.

 

But the one that really gets me is "backyard." For years, it was "back yard" and the modifying form was hyphenated ("back-yard barbecue"). Now it's "backyard" in all uses in most style manuals - even though the space on the opposite side of the house is never - and I'll wager never will be - correctly written as "frontyard."

 

So anyway. If a mod would revise "resign" in this thread's title to the hyphenated form ("re-sign") since the software won't let me, it will make this word dude's day. 

Edited by top-shelf-1

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Also, for goaltending education, this is a VERY lengthy but excellent read:

 

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/03/the-puck-stops-here/357579/

 

Why do I post it?   I think Cam's rebound control is his best asset, and one of the intangibles he brings.

Agree. I just don't know that we get anyone better coming back, and I do know that when he's focused he can be very good. If we can make the moves needed up front to let him play with the lead, I think he becomes much more reliable.

 

That said, I don't think Cam is "the answer." Then again, I don't - and never have - thought ANY one player is.

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Good goaltending is consistency and winning teams games they don't deserve to win.  It's like what they use to say about Brodeur/Lundquist/Price, if they can see the puck, they're going to stop it.  That's why it baffles me when those alike say, "if it weren't for Cam, it would be 8-1 instead of 4-1."  For those that watch other teams, great goalies, and even just good goalies make similar "heroic" saves that Cam makes every night.  Cam has been a very inconsistent player over the course of his career.  He has had some historic moments in the franchise that no one can deny or take away from him, but like Staal, it's time for this franchise to move on.  And I shutter to think of how many other goalies have slipped through trades/free agency because this franchise has resigned itself to Cam and Cam only, never second-guessing him.

 

It's really saddening how low the standards are on Carolina.  Not many hold our media or players accountable.  If this franchise was in New York or Montreal, Staal would be getting the Rick Nash treatment, and there's no way Cam would be playing for this team for 10yrs with the numbers he's put up.  To me, it's going to be the good ole boys mentality until Staal and Ward are gone.  Franchises around us are evolving and moving on from there past while we get stuck behind.  Ottawa moved past Spezza/Alfredson/Heatley, Columbus moved on from Rick Nash, Philadelphia moved on from Mike Richards/Jeff Carter, Tampa moved on from St. Louis/Lecavilier/Richards, Detroit is no longer reliant on Pavel Datsyuk to win games.  This franchise can't be scared of, and in the long term can't afford to hang on to players like Ward and Staal just because they think they can't do better as far as drafting/trades/free agency.

 

And for those saying, "there's nobody on the market better than Cam," how do you know?  When was the last time this team played a starting goalie that wasn't Cam?

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And for those saying, "there's nobody on the market better than Cam," how do you know?  When was the last time this team played a starting goalie that wasn't Cam?

We don't know - but scouts do. (Or at least that's what we're paying them for.)

 

I suspect that's what it will come down to. If one of our scouts finds somebody they think can play as well or better than Cam, I think we'll try to get that player. Then again, the fact that it hasn't already happened suggests to me that such a guy isn't out there.

 

On your whole "refusal to move on" thing, I get why you feel that way, but the fact is that JR tied our hands with NTCs. That said now is the time the momentum swings in our favor. Every day closer to the deadline that these guys look average is one day closer to the rebuild that was impossible under JR.

 

I will say this: I agree with the point others have made that it's time to increase Lack's workload. If the eventual goal is for him to be our #1, and if we're out of the running this year anyway, there's no reason to wait. Even if BP thinks we're still in the running, that's no reason to wait either. Let him play with that pressure and let's see what he can do.

 

I think we start Lack Thursday, and barring a terrible outing, he is considered the #1 throughout second quarter of the season, just as Cam was in the first. That's hard from a showcasing-for-a-possible-deal POV, but I really don't think either half of this goaltending duo is going anywhere, given their potential return and the magnitude of the changes in other parts of the roster that seem to be on the way.

Edited by top-shelf-1

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I suspect that's what it will come down to. If one of our scouts finds somebody they think can play as well or better than Cam, I think we'll try to get that player. Then again, the fact that it hasn't already happened suggests to me that such a guy isn't out there.

 

The Canes went out and got Lack and then signed him to a two-year extension. :)

 

Just kidding, but why would the Canes commit to Lack for three years, if he's considered the backup goalie? 

 

The team is riding Cam like he's the number one as well.  The whole thing just seemed odd to me from the start.  Now it's even more confusing.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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