After a return to the Chicago Blackhawks in 2015-16 and a Stanley Cup playoff run that ended far earlier than Andrew Ladd and the Blackhawks wanted. Now, with his contract nearing expiration, Ladd isn’t expected to return to Chicago next season.
Ladd returned to the Hawks at the trade deadline last season for his second stint with the team. He spent three seasons with Chicago from 2007 to 2010 before joining the Winnipeg franchise (formerly the Atlanta Thrashers when Ladd joined them).
According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Blackhawks informed the forward that the chance of him returning to Chicago was slim.
“When we spoke after the season, they said it would be tough,” said Ladd to Friedman. “The likelihood is they don’t have the room to make it work.”
Ladd, who is set to become a free agent on July 1 after finishing a five-year contract, will be looking to sign with a team that offers him a chance to play for the Stanley Cup – according to theScore.com’s Ian McLaren.
But that’s not all.
“Can the family go somewhere where my wife and kids enjoy life?” said Ladd. “That’s a big element.”
Ladd’s most recent contract carried an annual salary of $4.4-million. It’s unclear how he will be valued on the open market, but he will likely see an increase in salary.
He finished 2015-16 with 46 points (25g-21a) in 78 games during the regular season and 258 points (118g-140a) over the span of his five-year contract.
Ladd’s notched 466 points (210g-256a) in 769 regular season games with Carolina, Chicago, Atlanta and Winnipeg to go along with 479 penalty minutes. While he hasn’t been the great playoff performer, he’ll bring leadership and experience to any lineup that he joins.
Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.