Nashville Predators: Forgotten Unsung Heroes of the Past

NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 17: David Legwand #11 and Joel Ward #29 of the Nashville Predators congratulate teammate Martin Erat #10, center, on scoring a goal against the Anaheim Ducks in Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Bridgestone Arena on April 17, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 17: David Legwand #11 and Joel Ward #29 of the Nashville Predators congratulate teammate Martin Erat #10, center, on scoring a goal against the Anaheim Ducks in Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Bridgestone Arena on April 17, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) /
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Joel Ward

Another player that you had to be living in the moment as a fan to realize how important they were to the team. Joel Ward was Mr. Clutch when it came time to win the game.

Ward came to the Predators after being undrafted and working his butt off to get into the NHL. A true underdog story that everyone should read up on. His story is truly inspirational as he eventually became a solid NHL player.

When Ward finally started logging minutes for the Predators in 2009-10, the team was regularly making the playoffs and trying to get over that next hump. He helped them do that, especially with his seven postseason goals that helped propel the Predators past the first round, finally.

It was hard to see Ward lost in free agency, but he continued his productive NHL career with the Washington Capitals and San Jose Sharks.

I’ll never forget those back-to-back clutch goals Ward scored to extend their second round series against the Vancouver Canucks in the 2011 playoffs.