After the Chicago Blackhawks were eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs, Andrew Ladd didn’t wait long to state that he’d like to return to the team. In late April he said that one would have to “be crazy not to want to be a part of this group and this organization.”
At the time we knew that the chances of the ‘Hawks being able to fit Ladd under their salary cap with a new deal were slim. It sounds like the team has let Ladd know that in a more official and final capacity. He spoke with Elliotte Friedman earlier this week, and the Sportsnet.ca scribe included the forward’s comments in his most recent 30 Thoughts (No. 8).
“When we spoke after the season, they said it would be tough. The likelihood is they don’t have the room to make it work.”
That likely means that Ladd will be heading for free agency on July 1. He told Friedman that he’d spoken to Tanner Glass about what it’s like to be a free agent, and the forward told Ladd this about free agency:
“He said it was chaos…free agency hits, you get all these offers and everyone wants an answer right then. But it’s changed with the (week-before) window. It’s exciting to see what options will be available.”
Ladd could be in the position to make a decent chunk of change heading into next season. His last contract was worth $22 million across five years and carried a $4.4 million cap hit. That was a pretty team-friendly deal for the Winnipeg Jets, and the 30-year-old will be one of the more attractive free agent forwards available once the Steven Stamkos sweepstakes has been decided.
He’s spoken several times over the last few weeks about how another Stanley Cup ring trumps money for him though, so it will be interesting to see where the veteran forward lands in July.