The Vegas Golden Knights’ new AHL franchise, the Henderson Silver Knights, rounded out their coaching staff on Monday. The Silver Knights hired former players Joel Ward and Jamie Heward to be assistant coaches under head coach Manny Viveiros. Both assistants have Washington Capitals connections.
Ward, who scored a career-high 24 goals in 2013-14 in Washington and tallied one of the biggest goals in Capitals’ postseason history, officially ended his playing career in April after suiting up in 726 games with the Caps, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, and San Jose Sharks. The Silver Knights described Ward as “a hard worker who earned every opportunity he received.”
The Henderson Silver Knights have hired Joel Ward & Jamie Heward as assistant coaches.
Ward played for DeBoer 3 years in SJ. I spoke to him in August and he mentioned wanting to get into coaching. I joked there will be jobs in Henderson.
— Jesse Granger (@JesseGranger_) November 23, 2020
Since ending his career, Ward was a founding member of the Hockey Diversity Alliance. The mission of the group is to “eradicate racism and intolerance in hockey” and “be a force for positive change not only within our game of hockey but also within society.”
In February, Ward returned to DC to host a street hockey clinic for kids, including many from the Fort Dupont Cannons. The next day, Ward dropped the ceremonial first puck before the Penguins/Capitals game while wearing a Black Girl Hockey Club hoodie.
Meanwhile, Heward is leaving his role as an associate coach for the Western Hockey League’s Vancouver Giants. The former defenseman played nine seasons in the NHL including Alex Ovechkin’s first two seasons with the Washington Capitals. He scored 11 goals and 33 assists during his time in the nation’s capital.
Heward was also involved in two unfortunate accidents at Capital One Area including a hit by Alex Ovechkin that forced him to be stretchered off the ice.
He also got cut in the face by Mike Modano’s skate.
The AHL season is scheduled to start, at last as of now, on February 5, 2021.
— Henderson Silver Knights (@HSKnights) November 10, 2020
HENDERSON (November 23, 2020) – Vegas Golden Knights General Manager Kelly McCrimmon announced today, November 23, that the Henderson Silver Knights have hired Jamie Heward and Joel Ward as assistant coaches. Heward and Ward join head coach Manny Viveiros on HSK’s coaching staff.
Prior to coming to the Silver State, Heward, 49, served as an associate coach for the Western Hockey League’s Vancouver Giants. Heward joined the Giants after spending the past six seasons with the Swift Current Broncos, working as both an Assistant Coach and Director of Player Development. Internationally Heward has served as an Assistant Coach for Canada at two World Under-17 Hockey Challenge tournaments in 2015-16 and 2016-17.
Before embarking on his coaching career, the Regina, SK native spent two decades playing pro hockey after being drafted by Pittsburgh in the first round, 16th overall, in the 1989 NHL Draft. As a defenseman he played for multiple leagues across North America and Europe including the WHL, IHL, AHL, NHL and NLA. Across those leagues, Heward played in a total of 1,278 games, 394 of which were played in the NHL and 186 in the AHL.
Ward, 39, announced his retirement from the NHL in April 2020. His role with HSK will be his first time coaching professionally. During his playing career, Ward, who was undrafted in the NHL, was known as a hard worker who earned every opportunity he received. At almost 25 he signed his first pro contract with Houston of the American Hockey League and one year later made his NHL debut with the Wild in 2006.
In an NHL career that spanned well over a decade, Ward developed a reputation as a reliable two-way forward. In the 2009-10 season with the Predators, Nashville was 21-3-2 when Ward had a point, and he had two 20-goal seasons: One with the Capitals in 2013-14 and one with the Sharks in 2015-16. Throughout his career he played in a total of 726 games for Minnesota, Nashville, Washington and San Jose. He was also selected to represent Canada at the 2014 IIHF World Championship, where he notched nine points (6G, 3A) in eight games played.
Ward graduated from the University of Prince Edward Island with a degree in sociology in 2006. He has been a strong advocate for the NHL’s Hockey is for Everyone campaign and is a member of the Hockey Diversity Alliance.
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