After 726 NHL games, former Sharks wing Joel Ward is hanging up his skates. The 39-year-old made the announcement in a Players' Tribune piece published on Monday.
Ward played 209 games across three seasons with San Jose, and waxed poetic about his time in the Bay Area in the essay.
Stay in the game with the latest updates on your beloved Bay Area and California sports teams! Sign up here for our All Access Daily newsletter.
Then there’s San Jose, and everything that place has meant to me.
That isn’t one image, really. It’s more like a feeling.
I miss that group so much already. I miss how much fun it was to come to the rink every day. That’s what separates San Jose from anywhere else. The atmosphere in that locker room, it’s remarkable. Every day was a blessing there. Patty, Pavs, Jumbo, Burnzy -- those guys set the culture and everyone followed. I’m thankful to that organization for the opportunity to have played there, to have been a part of it all.
After signing with the Sharks in 2015, Ward was an instrumental part of the group that reached the Stanley Cup Final in 2016. He ranked fifth on the team with 13 points during that postseason run.
He made his last NHL appearance back on Apr. 7, 2018, scoring a point in a Sharks' loss to the Minnesota Wild.
The organization and Ward’s former teammates returned the favor and made sure to thank the veteran on social media for all of his contributions to the franchise.
Enjoy retirement, Joel. You earned it.