The undrafted forward has received many tributes on social media from media and teammates alike. But the one that stood out from the pack so far, was a tweet from Ward’s former teammate in Washington, Tom Wilson.
“You were one of the best teammates and mentor a guy could have asked for coming in to the league,” Wilson wrote. “Congrats on an amazing career @JRandalWard42. Cheers to the next chapter!”
— Tom Wilson (@tom_wilso) April 27, 2020
Wilson shared photos of himself with Ward at the Winter Classic, Nationals baseball games, and at the now publicly-shuttered Capitals Casino Night.
Wilson began his NHL career as a 19-year-old during the 2013 playoffs – Ward’s second season with the Capitals. Wilson’s first full season in the NHL would come the next season in 2013-14. He would serve as an enforcer (he fought a career-high 14 times that season) and played the entirety of the season on the fourth line.
In a recent NHL.com article, Wilson credited Ward as well as veterans Eric Fehr, Jason Chimera, and Jay Beagle for helping him during his rookie year, admitting there were some hard lessons he had to learn.
“It wasn’t all fun and games,” Wilson said to NHL.com’s Ben Raby. “There were times where they had to pull me aside and tell me the right way to do things.
“But when you have a bond with your teammates like we had, it makes it easier for them to tell you when you’re out of line. There were definitely a lot of those conversations, but that’s part of the hockey culture and part of growing up.”
Since his early years in the NHL, Wilson has transformed himself into a leader and a reliable first-line player.
Former teammate and liney Michael Latta also posted a tribute to Ward saying, “What a pleasure to get a chance to play along side you for a couple years.”
What a career. What a pleasure to get a chance to play along side you for a couple years. Congrats brother. https://t.co/qWZmmThY8U
— Michael Latta (@Latta17) April 27, 2020
Headline photo courtesy of @tom_wilso
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.