UFA Ryan Ward signs in Philadelphia

Ryan Ward's accurate shot will be part of the offense in Philadelphia this winter. (Photo: Perry Nelson)
Ryan Ward's accurate shot will be part of the offense in Philadelphia this winter. (Photo: Perry Nelson)

IL Indoor has confirmed through multiple sources that the Philadelphia Wings have agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent Ryan Ward. It had been speculated over the past few weeks that the Edmonton Rush were not going to sign the 10th-year forward out of Victoria, B.C., leading him to test the free agent waters. Spending the past four years in Edmonton, many felt that with the retirement of Jimmy Quinlan, Ward would be the easy choice to replace Quinlan as captain. However, Ward didn’t attend Rush camp this past week and with Chris Corbeil being named captain, the writing was on the wall. Rush GM Derek Keenan confirmed with IL that Ward had been offered a contract but the sides couldn’t reach an agreement. Wings GM Johnny Mouradian told IL Indoor about the acquisition exclusively today and it was then confirmed by Ward’s agent Rich Furlong, who said Tuesday night that once it was made clear a deal wasn’t going to be reached with the Rush “a number of other teams stepped up.”  Terms were not announced at the time but Furlong adds that they are very good terms for Ward.

With a great first step and incredibly accurate shot, Ward should be able to fit right into the Wings opening day roster and fill the void left by Drew WesterveltMarty O’Neil described #35 on IL Indoor’s Top 50 as such: “Ward will let a decade of concrete production do his speaking for him. Consistency in the form of 20+ goals and 40 assists for 60 points a year is what you can count on from Ryan. Ward is a deadly outside marksman and a seasoned PP general where he can hurt you in many ways.”

Ward was drafted by the Wings out of Butler University back in 2004 and has since amassed 618 points in 155 games, only missing five games in his entire career.

Now if the Wings can get 2013 leading scorer Kevin Crowley under contract, they will have a very solid looking right side with the addition of Ward, Tracey Kelusky, Mike McLellan and maybe even Luke Wiles (unsigned).

The Wings continue their training camp with a pair of exhibition games this weekend in Buffalo and will open the 2014 season with a game versus their long time rivals the Buffalo Bandits on December 28.

Stay tuned to IL Indoor for an upcoming piece on the Wings and the effect the World Field Lacrosse Championships could have on Philly this year.

Teddy Jenner is one the leading sources for lacrosse information. He comes by his love of lax honestly with a lifetime of experience, two Mann Cup championships and six years of play in the NLL. Email him at ted.jenner@ilindoor.com, follow him on Twitter @OffTheCrosseBar or catch him on Team 1410 radio in Vancouver, B.C., as the host and producer of the Off the Crosse-Bar Radio Show In 2012, he was awarded the BCLA's Norm Wright Merit Award- handed out to a member of the media deemed to have have contributed to the promotion of lacrosse.

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