Heck, he never lived up to his rookie season, where he overachieved by winning the Conn Smythe Trophy (over the more-deserving members of the losing Edmonton Oilers Dwayne Roloson and Chris Pronger), let alone a deal that paid him $6.3M a year, putting him in the league's top-five well-paid goalies for most its duration.
And so he will be making an average of $3.3M for the next couple of years, the Canes hoping that's how long it takes Eddie Lack to grow into the #1 goalie slot.
Except that some of the best goalies in the league - Ben Bishop and Marc-André Fleury, for starters - are rumoured to be available, and after the Montréal Canadiens traded P.K. Subban, every other GM in the league should be inquiring with GM Marc Bergevin about Carey Price's availability; though price is overrated by a lot, he's still a much better option in goal than Ward.
I mean, look at these statistics from the last few seasons:
2012-13: 17 games, 2.84 GAA, .908 save percentageSo, in the past four seasons, he has posted unspectacular backup numbers while playing a starter's amount of games for the last two, getting paid as an elite player at his position.
2013-14: 30 games, 3.06 GAA, .898 save percentage
2014-15: 51 games, 2.40 GAA, .910 save percentage
2015-16: 52 games, 2.41 GAA, .909 save percentage
The Hurricanes have failed to make the playoffs for as far as I can remember, and with good reason: their starting goalie, by failing to stop over 91% of shots against him, has been worse than a plywood dummy in over 100 games in the past two years, and 150 in the past four.
He makes for a good alternate jersey model, however, as can be attested by the game-worn jersey swatch insert version of card #14 from Panini's 2010-11 Luxury Suite set: