So long, Steve Ward

Doyle Woody,Adn Staff

Not that it was a secret -- and you would have read about it here hours ago if this publishing system was better -- but the word is officially out: Alaska Aces captain Steve Ward is headed to a new gig, according to

The Blog is told Ward, who is entering his seventh pro season, wanted to be closer to home. He's got that with the Central Hockey League's expansion franchise, the Brampton Beast, in Ontario. That's a suburb west of Toronto and Ward grew up in Scarborough, northeast of Toronto.

In any event, Ward, 27, helped the Aces in his three seasons win three straight Brabham Cup titles as regular-season champs of the ECHL, and he helped them win the Kelly Cup in 2011.

He was a total pro, always prepared to play, very consistent, a strong if quiet leader who carried himself well and could play in any situation. Smart, funny, one of those people you can only like. Pure class.

The Blog wishes him the greatest of luck.

Next up: Aces coach Rob Murray has to puck someone to wear the "C.''