Thursday, February 25, 2016

Ladd Returns to Chicago

2016 2016 2017
To Chicago POS GP G/W P Annual Cap Status
Andrew Ladd F 59 17 34 $2.8 mil UFA
Matt Fraser F 0 0 0 $650k RFA
Jay Harrison D 0 0 0 $1.5 mil UFA
To Winnipeg POS GP G/W P Annual Cap Status
Marko Dano F 13 1 2 $925k 1 year left
2016 1st Round Draft Pick
Conditional 2018 3rd Round Draft Pick
36% of Ladd's salary retained $1.6 mil

Well, now that the Winnipeg Jets announced they were going to be without Bryan Little to injury for the remainder of the year, they looked at their situation in the standings and that made it pretty obvious that Andrew Ladd was on the market.

It may come as a surprise to many that it was Chicago that anted up for the Winnipeg captain, offering up a top prospect in forward Marko Dano and their 2016 1st round draft pick to get him, plus minor leaguers.

In Ladd, it's the return of one of the original salary cap dumps that the Blackhawks had after their first Stanley Cup in recent memory, bringing back an older and wiser Ladd, likely for this playoff run and nothing more.  The minor leaguers were added as likely black aces in the playoffs, something that some teams really treasure down the stretch.

The Jets come away with some long-term futures, including a kid like Dano, who had some upside coming from the Blue Jackets in the Brandon Saad deal.  Dano got into a bakers dozen worth of games, but couldn't quite break through to the regular lineup spots, so he has been down in the minors ever since.  The 1st round draft pick might not be in an ideal spot, but it's still among the top 30 picks, which carries some high value down the road.  The condition of the 2018 3rd round pick is that Winnipeg gets the pick, if Chicago wins the Cup this year.

The Chicago Blackhawks, who are easily among the favourites for the Cup this year, have only gotten better with this acquisition and they didn't have to sacrifice anyone on their current roster to do so.  In their own cap crunch this year, that's an amazing feat, to say the least.  With this addition, it's hard not to think they are not the overall favourites, no matter how good Washington is doing in the Eastern Conference.

Winnipeg, who isn't going to make the playoffs, may get a look at Dano after the acquisition, especially since the loss of Little to injury for the rest of the season.  The Jets may get some long-term gains with some playing time right away for Dano, but that's really grasping for any sort of silver lining.

ImplicationsIn the hockey pool, there is only one player involved in this one and it's the headliner, Ladd.  He belongs to Clayton in the pool this year, he was taken in the 5th round, 131st overall.  His current scoring ranking isn't quite there, but it is in that general neighbourhood, down in 153rd spot and he only has a handful of points to get to make it back up there.  The move from Winnipeg to Chicago is a positive one, where Ladd will join some offensive dynamos and could really boost his numbers.

At the beginning of play tonight, Clayton opened up in 11th place, 43 points out of the money.  It's a long way to go and lots of teams to jump, so it doesn't seem very likely, but at least Ladd could make a run for it.

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