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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