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After a 13-year career in the NHL, including three Stanley Cups, defenseman Aaron Ward has decided to hang up his skates. The 37-year-old Ward spent parts of three years with the Bruins from 2007-2009.
“I’m very proud to have played for as long as I did in the NHL, with and against the best players in the game,” Ward said in a statement. “This game has left me with countless memories and relationships, especially from those Stanley Cup-winning teams in Carolina and Detroit. Thank you to my family, fans, friends, and teammates for all the great years.”
The Bruins originally acquired the stay-at-home defensman in a 2007 trade with the Rangers for Paul Mara. Ward then appeared in 150 games for the B’s, tallying nine goals and 17 assists.
He may be best known in Boston for being sucker-punched by Hurricane Scott Walker in the 2009 playoffs. Walker was initially suspended, but that was later rescinded after Walker pleaded his case to the league. Either way, Ward had a temporary black eye, and the Bruins could not get their revenge and fell to the ‘Canes in seven games.
Ward was later traded to the Hurricanes in a salary dump deal for the Bruins. In losing Ward and acquiring Patrick Eaves (whom they subsequently waived), the B’s signed Derek Morris to a one-year deal. Ward had his issues with the ‘Canes in his second go-around, and was traded again last season, from the Canes to the Ducks as Anaheim pushed toward the playoffs.
Perhaps sick of all the transactions involving his name, Ward is walking away from the league to spend more time with his wife and three kids.
Off the ice in 2008, Ward and Toucher & Rich started the “Cuts for a Cause” charity event, in which several Bruins get their heads shaved to help out a local charity. The event took place in 2009 and again this year, and should be a worthy cause for years to come.