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Jason Ward


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A headline in the Montreal Gazette sports section today suggests that Jason Ward's days with Canadiens are done. Although I am not a subscriber and therefore don't have access to the full article I would guess that he has not been given a qualifying offer.

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Jason Ward has become the latest victim of the National Hockey League salary cap.

The Canadiens had to offer him a $669,000 (U.S.) contract. Ward therefore becomes an unrestricted free agent. Technically, the Canadiens could sign him for less money, but it appears unlikely.

Gainey obviously feels he can fill Ward's spot on the third or fourth line with a player earning closer to $450,000.

Ward was 11th overall 97, but his progress was slowed by a knee injury that sidelined him for most of the 2000-01 season.

It looked as though Ward had found a home in the NHL in 2003-04 when he appeared in a career-high 53 games. He averaged more than 12 minutes a game, scored five goals and seven assists and was a solid plus-3.

During the lockout last season, he lent his experience to the Bulldogs. He had 20 goals and 34 assists in 77 games.

[Edited on 8/1/2005 by les_glorieux]

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A sad day but a logical move, especially after he disappointed in his return to Hamilton!

I loved Jason Ward, alot of potential and a likable character, but just never really put it together. I think he'll really help out his next team BUT if the Habs are indeed moving in a positive direction his 4th line roster spot is much more useful to a guy like Higgins!

Go Habs Go!

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I agree that moves like that are necessary, especially considering the number of young guys who are pretty well ready to make the jump.

In so far as I understand, there comes a time when a team has to move their players up or thy lose them (a waiver thing? - or is that baseball?)

That aside, I wonder if he'll go the route of Chad Kilger? To another team who will end up liking him and signing him to a multi-year situation? (Kilger got a qualifying contract - good for him.)

If nothing else, he's a kid who plays with heart and gives of himself regularly. I'm sure that his skills will be useful with some other team.

[Edited on 2005/8/1 by shortcat1]

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Well, order your coffin. It's likely going to happen.

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Originally posted by jl.roberts

Sad to see him go.. would've thought we could use a few MORE Jason Ward's. Oh well, he's replaceable. Best of luck to him though..

It will absolutely kill me though if Sundstrom or Dagenais play after cutting Ward...

Both Sundstrom and Dagenais scored more goals in one seasons as habs then Ward did in his 8 years. For what we pay Dags he is one hell of a bargain, sure you may not like his style... but he's productive. We could find dozens of Ward's on the open market, and most of them can stay healthy for a full season.

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I have a theory about the Habs not qualifying Ward. I believe that they didn't qualify him because doing so would force them them to continue his 1-way contract. I'm speculating that the Habs may eventually resign him to a 2-way contract one that has a pro structure at the league minimum, because the Habs braintrust are not sure about Ward as an NHL pro player yet.

My other theory is that the Habs have evaluated Ward, and they feel his role appears to be a 4th line player at best. Gainey may feel that he'd rather have a younger player, one that may stand a better chance at a top 2 line position [eg. Higgins, Perezhogin] at the 4th line position to start the season, since the CBA affords them less time to evaluate their players before potentially losing them to unrestricted free agency.

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Don't say bye too soon, BG don't wanna see him go, he made him an offer, but the offer was under the qualif amount so ward becomes a UFA... doesn't mean that we won't sign him at 450k when he'll see that there are no takers at 700k

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I'm happy for Ward, that he got another job in the NHL. The fact it didn't take too long is a good sign. I feel that Gainey indirectly indicated that his lack of speed is something that would work against Ward. He made mention of this in reference to the new rules, and how defensive players would have to be able to react quicker for dump ins.

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Originally posted by habscout

I'm happy for Ward, that he got another job in the NHL. The fact it didn't take too long is a good sign. I feel that Gainey indirectly indicated that his lack of speed is something that would work against Ward. He made mention of this in reference to the new rules, and how defensive players would have to be able to react quicker for dump ins.

Good point. Gainey said he wants an exciting team and he needed to implement the type of players who can play that type of game. So, Ward is gone.. makes sense.

Looking back a couple of days later this move doesn't bother me one bit. Best of luck to Wardo, but a quicker, smoother player can fill his spot.

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Originally posted by habscout

I'm happy for Ward, that he got another job in the NHL. The fact it didn't take too long is a good sign.

Yes good point, when the players we let go are snatched up quickly, that indicates we have a pretty good stable right now.

(Not missing Dackell Juneau Dykhuis et al)

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Originally posted by KidRock

what about Traverse? lol!!

HIM I sorely miss. The stalwart presence of Traverse struck fear into the opposition.

:lol:

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Traverse signed with Dallas. As always, I hope the best for him.

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I'll never understand the love-in for Ward. I mean seriously, the guy couldn't skate. Yes, he was grit, lovely. But grit is only good if you can keep up with the play and use it.

With the crackdown on obstruction his entire game is seriously compromised. Sure, he can hit - if he can catch his man - but he is never going to be a good defensive player if opponents are skating around him like he's not there.

Don't get me wrong, he has his uses and served his purposes well in his limited time in Montreal, but he was never anything more than filler for the bottom two lines when we didn't have the depth to put in more talent. Now that there are players ready to graduate to the NHL, he has no place in Montreal.

And to hear he went to the Rag$? Sweet. Only thing better would have been Toronto. I'm pleased that he stayed in the east so we can play him. Nothing like playing against a line with four and a half players and not five. I look forward to the semi advantage.

Harsh? Perhaps, but he was a seriously overrated talent here, in my opinion.

Colin

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What is it with the Rangers hard on for Habs talent lately?

We trade them Balej (and a 2nd round pick?), we trade them a 2nd and 3rd round pick to move up in the 2nd round, and now they sign Jason Ward days after being released.

Maybe Hainsey/Hossa is next?

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Hmm, I guessing that Gainey and Sather like to work together.

Originally posted by Trizzak

What is it with the Rangers hard on for Habs talent lately?

We trade them Balej (and a 2nd round pick?), we trade them a 2nd and 3rd round pick to move up in the 2nd round, and now they sign Jason Ward days after being released.

Maybe Hainsey/Hossa is next?

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