The Washington Times - July 1, 2011, 03:55PM

Playoffs are the name of the game for the Capitals, something they proved by signing Joel Ward on Friday afternoon. The 30-year-old forward had seven goals and six assists in 12 playoff games with the Predators this past spring

When Nashville was eliminated, Ward was leading the Stanley Cup Playoffs in scoring.

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That’s perhaps why he was worth this deal for the Caps – four years at a total of $12 million. He’ll earn $3 million per season.

Twenty teams were interested in signing Ward, his agent, Peter Cooney, told The Washington Times. The Caps were among the first teams to call – a good thing because Washington was at the top of Ward’s wish list.

“Their interest was strong right off the get-go,” Cooney said in a telephone interview Friday. “They demonstrated a real desire to have Joel.”

Ward could be a nice piece to the playoff puzzle for the Caps, even if they paid a premium price to get him.

“Joel will complement their roster throughout the regular season and yes I think the playoffs are very important to the Capitals but they’re also very important to Joel, too,” Cooney said.