Caps Welcome Back Joel Ward

Posted February 23, 2020

(Caps Outsider)

Caps fans welcomed back former Caps forward Joel Ward to Capital One Arena on Sunday as he dropped the ceremonial puck with Alex Ovechkin and Penguins captain Sidney Crosby.

Ward, who still lives in San Jose, spoke to the media between periods, reminiscing about playing with Alex Ovechkin.

“I remember in New York, I got a chance to play with Nicky and [Ovi] – make sure everybody hear that I got a chance to play with Nicky and Ovi on the same line on the same team – and I remember battling on the wall, and I just threw the puck up, he was on the left side, and he collected a pass, and went down… The goal, I’ve seen it on commercials. I was hoping to get my face in there but they kinda edit that part out… but he just took the puck, went through two defensemen at Madison Square Gardens, and I got the easiest assist I think possible a hockey player could ever dream of.”

He also praised new Cap Brenden Dillon, who Ward played with in San Jose, as being a really kind, gently guy (right after Dillon beat down Evgeni Malkin).

“He’s a true pro, he’s an unbelievable human being. I think he’s one of the nicest guys I’ve come across in my hockey days, to be honest with you. He’s just a humble guy who wants to work and learn…”

Except for when he’s punching Malkin,” Tarik el-Bashir interjected and Ward laughed.

“Yeah, he can battle, but you’re getting an unbelievable human being besides an unbelievable hockey player.”

Ward played four seasons for Washington, most memorably scoring an overtime series-winning goal in the first round of the playoffs to knock out the defending champs, the Boston Bruins, in 2012.

Ward, who was wearing a Black Girl Hockey Club shirt, spent the last couple of days hanging out in the area, hosting hockey clinics and seeing old friends, including the Fort Dupont Cannons.

After Washington, Ward played three seasons in San Jose, where he made it to the Stanley Cup Finals.