Philadelphia Flyers Free Agent Target: Joel Ward


Philadelphia Flyers Free Agent Target: Joel Ward

The Philadelphia Flyers are in desperate need of wingers. Unfortunately, the 2015 free agent class does not have a whole lot to offer. One of the best wingers to be hitting the open market this offseason is eight-year-veteran Joel Ward.

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At 6’11’’ and 226 pounds, Joel Ward is a big-body power-forward with tremendous work ethic. In addition, Ward possesses the ability to put up some points for his team. The 34-year-old from North York, Ontario scored 19 goals and added 15 assists for the Washington Capitals this season. In 2013-2014, Ward experienced his best season with a total of 49 points. He also is capable of doing spectacular things in high-pressure situations. Throughout his career, Joel Ward has scored 16 game-winning goals.

When it comes to attributes, Joel Ward pretty much has everything the Philadelphia Flyers are looking for. Any sort of production from the wing would be appreciated, and Ward could also fill the void in the energy and leadership department that was created when Scott Hartnell was traded away.

Although Ward may have what Philadelphia is looking for in a player, it is highly unlikely that Ron Hextall makes him an offer worth considering. As mentioned earlier, Ward is 34-years-old. This number in the real world may not be considered old; but it is pushing ancient status in hockey years. In addition, Ward will most likely be looking for a three or four year contract around the same amount of money he is making now.

Over the past year, the Flyers have been giving it their best effort to get younger, and shed some of their more unfriendly contracts. There is no doubt that Joel Ward would be a valuable asset to this team; and if the Flyers were a little further along in their progression, they may consider offering him a contract. However, signing a player like Ward with the current situation the Flyers are in would make very little sense.

Joel Ward will be in high demand this offseason, and will find a team willing to pay him the amount of money he is looking for. I would be shocked if Ron Hextall is one of the General Managers participating in a bidding war though. Although Joel Ward will not be a Flyer next season, Philadelphia should be looking for young wingers that possess similar attributes.

May 8, 2015; New York, NY, USA; Washington Capitals right wing Joel Ward (42) interferes with New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) in front of New York Rangers center Derek Stepan (21) and New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) and the referees rule no goal during the second period of game five of the second round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Next: Free Agent Target: Cody Franson

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