Thursday, February 25, 2016

Andrew Ladd Jersey Card

Most people expected the Winnipeg Jets to trade captain Andrew Ladd, but few thought he'd land with the Chicago Blackhawks, with whom he won the Stanley Cup in 2010. While they were one of my favourite landing spots for him (along with the Montréal Canadiens, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames or Ottawa Senators), I was curious to see how GM Stan Bowman would fit him under the salary cap; easy-breezy, the Jets will retain exactly 36% of his salary.

Ladd is a complete player: he's big (6'3'' and 205 pounds), he's tough, he can score goals - he'll likely hit the 20-goal mark for the fifth time in the last five full seasons in a couple of week and can be counted on for some 50-odd points - and he's a terrific two-way power forward, having garnered some Selke votes three times despite being a winger.

He was reportedly eyeing a big payday (he's an unrestricted free agent this summer), and after signing Dustin Byfuglien, the Jets just didn't have the means to sign Ladd as well, a situation both players had gone through previously, following the Hawks' 2010 win.

This makes the Hawks the favourites for a repeat, slightly ahead of the Los Angeles Kings, Dallas Stars and Washington Capitals. Then he could move on either to the highest bidder... or any organization of his choice, really. By himself, he could make the St. Louis Blues actual contenders by taking over the leadership role there; or he could do the same with any of the four Canadian teams I named in the first paragraph. He'd also be a nice cornerstone to lead the youth movement with the Carolina Hurricanes should they themselves move on from captain Eric Staal.

Speaking of the Hurricanes, Ladd won the Cup with them as well, in 2006. This is what he looked like in their old red (home) uniform:
It's card #J-LA from Upper Deck's 2006-07 Series 1 collection and UD Game Jersey sub-set, featuring a white game-worn jersey swatch.

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