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Extending Cam Ward may have been the easiest option for the Hurricanes, but it wasn’t the right one

Carolina continues to be loyal to a bad goaltender.

Carolina Hurricanes v Dallas Stars Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Just a day after fleecing the Blackhawks for Teuvo Teravainen and Bryan Bickell, the Hurricanes have announced the extension of starting goaltender Cam Ward for two years with an AVV of $3.3 million.

The move is clearly one to get them closer to the cap floor, as the Hurricanes are still $4.47 million away from clearing that bar, according to GeneralFanager.com. Even so, the decision to extend Ward for that long and for that amount of money is a bit of a head-scratcher.

Ward’s career numbers aren't great, with a 2.70 goals against average and a .910 save percentage over his 11-year career in the NHL. The starter hasn't had a save percentage above .920 since the 2010-2011 season, but the Hurricanes have been strapped to him due to their status as a team rebuilding.

This year, Carolina did have the option of playing 28-year-old Eddie Lack, who they acquired from the Canucks in the offseason. Though Lack's numbers were, well, lacking with a .901 save percentage and a 2.81 GAA, the decision to allow Ward to keep the starter’s keys for two more seasons is a strange move. The Hurricanes have 20-year-old prospect Alex Nedeljkovic in the pipeline for when the rebuild is over, but he is still a few years out from NHL play.

In the meantime, the Hurricanes will be stuck in the doldrums once again as they wait out their time with Ward. The goaltender UFA market this season may be a bit thin, but signing one of them for cheap, going with a tandem of Lack and one of the UFAs, then pulling off another deal like the Teravainen/Bickell steal would have been way more beneficial to the Hurricanes than to continue to be loyal to a bad goaltender.

Maybe in the heads of the Hurricanes management, getting $3.3 million closer to the cap floor by re-signing their starter of 11 seasons was the easiest option. However, common sense and the numbers say that it most definitely wasn’t the right one.