SAN JOSE, CA – APRIL 05: Joel Ward #42 of the San Jose Sharks skates with the puck against the Colorado Avalanche at SAP Center on April 5, 2018 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Rocky W. Widner/NHL/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Joel Ward

Veteran NHLer Joel Ward announced his retirement from professional hockey in Charlottetown for the University of Prince Edward Island’s Men’s Hockey Alumni Day.

Ward announces his retirement after 11 seasons in the NHL. He’s skated in 726 games throughout his career with the Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, Washington Capitals and San Jose Sharks. He has a total of 133 goals and 171 assists. Ward posted 52 points in 83 playoff games overall. Most recently, the veteran attended training camp with the Montreal Canadiens. He was ultimately unable to secure a contract with the club.

After spending four seasons with the Owen Sound Attack of the Ontario Hockey League, Ward had an unsuccessful tryout with the Detriot Red Wings. Afterward, he spent four years playing college hockey for the University of Prince Edward Island. He ultimately made his NHL debut with the Wild on Dec 11, 2006, against the Vancouver Canucks.

Ward spent the majority of his tenure in league with the Capitals. He affectionately earned the nickname “The Big Cheese” after becoming a fan favourite. Ward spent four seasons with Washington where he recorded a career-high in goals and points, 24 and 49 respectively.

The wingers most memorable moment is one with the Capitals during a playoff run. It’s perhaps the most important playoff goal in Capitals history, prior to their Stanley Cup victory last season. Ward found the back of the net after seven games in the 2012 playoffs to knock out the defending Boston Bruins in overtime. In the following year’s playoffs, he tied for most points on the team with four in seven games. Ward spent his final seasons in the NHL with the Sharks, where he tallied 84 points over 209 games.

While news of Ward’s retirement is met with a mix of emotions, his career is one that fulfilled everything the forward could have dreamt of.

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