Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Andrew Ladd Jersey Card

Andrew Ladd proved his leadership earlier today by responding to Evander Kane's allegations that he wasn't welcome with the Winnipeg Jets (and requested trades out of town for three straight seasons) by telling him to move on (subtext: grow up).

For a while, the Jets' captain and two-time Stanley Cup winner was a decent and consistent performer with second-line-type numbers (50 points per year), but he's upped the ante since the locked-out season in 2012-13, where he had 46 points in 48 games, followed by 23- and 24-goal seasons, culminating in 62 total points last year. Keeping with that pace, he currently has 6 points in 8 games this season.

He regularly gets Selke and Lady Byng votes, though as a winger, he's less likely to ever win one - and probably has Marian Hossa and Max Pacioretty ahead of him at his position anyhow, although there's nothing wrong with being the third-best two-way left winger in the world.

There's something to be said about head coach Paul Maurice's Jets, where if you'd asked me five years ago only had one star player (Dustin Byfuglien) and a fine supporting cast that included Ladd, Bryan Little and Blake Wheeler, but that so-called supporting cast has actually developed into a fierce and strong first-line-caliber unit.

I've really taken a liking to this Jets team; they really seem to be built around Ladd types as well, so I hope they re-sign him (he and Buff are unrestricted free agents at season's end).

Here's Ladd wearing the team's white (away) uniform, from Upper Deck's 2013-14 SP Game-Used Edition set (card #AF-AL of the Authentic Fabrics sub-set), featuring a game-worn dark blue jersey swatch:
I see the Jets remaining in playoff contention all season long; though I think Ondrej Pavelec is a decent goalie and Michael Hutchinson is a capable backup, the crease might be the one spot where they're weaker than a lot of their competition (the Chicago Blackhawks' Corey Crawford, the Nashville Predators' Pekka Rinne, and the Colorado Avalanche's Semyon Varlamov in particular).

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