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Ottawa adds Heerema, Ward

The Ottawa Senators today announced they have signed defenseman Lance Ward and right wing Jeff Hereema to one-year contracts.

Heerema, 25, signed as a free agent with the Vancouver Canucks on Aug. 19, 2004, and then joined the AHL’s Manitoba Moose for the 2004-05 season. Playing in all 80 regular-season games, he was fifth in team scoring with 14 goals and 30 assists. He stood third in team scoring during the playoffs with 10 points (4g, 6a) in 14 games as the Moose reached the AHL Western Conference final.

During his AHL career, Heerema has tallied 74 goals, 99 assists and 173 points in 234 games with Manitoba, Hartford, Worcester and Lowell. He has added four goals and two assists in 32 NHL matches with Carolina and St. Louis.

Heerema was Carolina’s first-round pick (11th overall) in 1998 NHL Entry Draft.

Ward, 27, did not play during the 2004-05 season. The five-year NHL defenseman split the 2003-04 season between the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and their American Hockey League affiliate, the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks. In 209 career NHL games with Anaheim and the Florida Panthers, the Lloydminster, Alta., native has recorded four goals, 12 assists, 16 points and 391 penalty minutes. He has also recorded nine goals, 24 assists, 33 points and 325 penalty minutes in 163 career AHL games with New Haven, Louisville and Cincinnati.

Ward was originally selected by New Jersey in the first round (10th overall) in 1996 NHL Entry Draft. He went back into the draft in 1998, when Florida chose him in the third round (63rd overall).