ANAHEIM - APRIL 22: Joel Ward #29 and Saku Koivu #11 of the Nashville Predators celebrate Ward's third period goal against the Anaheim Ducks in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Honda Center on April 22, 2011 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

2011 NHL Free Agency: Washington Capitals Sign Joel Ward For Four Years, $12 Million

The Washington Capitals continue to make moves Friday, signing former Nashville Predator Joel Ward for four years.

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2011 NHL Free Agency: New Addition Joel Ward Loves Playoff Hockey, Should Be Excellent Fit In Washington

The Washington Capitals held a conference call Saturday afternoon with new addition Joel Ward, formerly of the Nashville Predators. Ward was inked by Washington GM George McPhee to a four year deal Friday, reportedly worth $12 million. Ward played extremely well for the Predators in the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs, amassing 13 points in 12 postseason games. Ward's playoff successes and flexibility seem to make him an excellent choice for the organization. I pulled a few choice quotes from conference call, highlighting what I mean:

When asked about the playoffs and if he perhaps could be the missing piece for the Capitals:

"I sure do. I love playoff hockey. I think it's such a fun time of year. Anytime you know you can make the playoffs every year and have a consistent shot to win the Stanley Cup, it's always a good feeling. That was one of the things I look forward to...I think everyone thrives on it. You want to try to hoist the Stanley Cup and that's what I'm going to try to do and hopefully bring that to D.C."

On his role flexibility and adaptability:

"I definitely know my role, whether it's to be you know 1, 2, 3, 4 you know, winning games is the main thing. And regardless of who I'm playing with I'm just gonna try to create some space for my linemates and get some opportunities and just be defensive sound and stick to details and listen to what coach Bruce Boudreau has to say and just try to execute the best I can."

On whether the Capitals were high on his list of possible teams to sign with:

"They were very high on my list. They were one of the teams where actually I was able to visit the city before. I like how they're made up and the skill level they have and I think that I can help in the back end so to speak. I've always liked what the Capitals have done every season and hope I can help push them over the edge."

I, for one, am looking forward to the new Joel Ward Era in D.C.

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2011 NHL Free Agency: Washington Capitals Sign Joel Ward For Four Years, $12 Million

The Washington Capitals continue to make a big splash in the 2011 NHL free agency market, signing winger Joel Ward, formerly of the Nashville Predators, for four years worth reportedly $12 million.

Ward had 10 goals and 19 assists in his breakout season for the Predators. He ranked second among Nashville forwards in blocked shots (57), third in takeaways (51), and fourth in hits (67). Ward, 30, has only played three full seasons in the NHL, but made his presence felt during the postseason, where he led the Predators with seven goals, six assists and 13 points in 12 total playoff games. The Predators defeated the Anaheim Ducks in the Western Conference Quarterfinals before bowing out to the Vancouver Canucks in the Western Conference Semifinals.

Ward is the second player acquired by the Caps Friday; former captain Jeff Halpern returned Friday after signing a one-year deal. Boyd Gordon left the Caps to sign with the Phoenix Coyotes, while Semyon Varlamov became a member of the Colorado Avalanche in a trade.

For more on the signing, please visit Japers' Rink.

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