The Winnipeg Jets sit dead last in the Central Division and as the trade deadline approaches it’s becoming clear they are sellers. One of the most attractive pieces the Jets could make available is captain Andrew Ladd.
A big reason why Ladd’s name has come up in trade rumors, aside from Winnipeg’s record, is he’s a pending unrestricted free agent. Ladd has stated he wants to stay in Winnipeg and is open to signing an extension, but the Jets face the difficult decision of either trading their captain for future assets or keeping him and hope he doesn’t walk away for nothing.
According to TSN.ca’s Gary Lawless, there’s already been an offer for Ladd, and a large number of contenders are interested in acquiring him.
“Eight days before the deadline, it’s believed at least one team has made an offer of a first-round pick plus a prospect and [GM Kevin] Cheveldayoff has a list of teams calling about the 30-year-old Ladd.
As many as six teams – Anaheim, Chicago, Florida, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Washington – are believed to have interest in him.”
It’s easy to see why Ladd would draw interest. He’s a two-time Stanley Cup winner who’s scored at a 20+ goal pace in six straight seasons. He’s continued his usual pace with 16 goals and 33 points in 2015-16. Every team in the league could use a the 6’3″ left winger’s skillset and leadership qualities.
The cost won’t be cheap. A first-round pick and a prospect would be a decent return, but for Cheveldayoff to pull the trigger, you’d think he wants a little more. It won’t be an easy decision to deal Ladd.