Goalie Cam Ward says he wants to return to Hurricanes

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) Cam Ward says he wants to stay with the Carolina Hurricanes.

The goalie said Tuesday that he's ''remaining optimistic that something can happen'' to keep him with Carolina.

Ward and the other players cleaned out their lockers three days after their season ended with a loss at Florida.

Ward is facing the possibility of free agency this summer. He just finished the final year of a six-year contract that paid him $6.8 million this season.

Ward was 23-17-10 this season, and his 2.41 goals-against average was the second-best of an 11-year NHL career that included the 2006 Conn Smythe Trophy as the Hurricanes' playoff MVP.

Ward says he considers Raleigh his home, and his priority is ''about being where I'd like to be, and hopefully I get that option.''

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