The New York Islanders will be without forward Andrew Ladd for the remainder of the 2018-19 season and the entirety of the postseason. The veteran forward suffered a torn ACL and the expected recovery time for this injury is five months, the team announced Tuesday.
This is unfortunate news for the Islanders and for Ladd as the team has exceeded all expectations this season and look like legitimate Stanley Cup contenders in their first season without former-captain John Tavares.
The 33-year-old Ladd would only play in 26 games all season and only just returned to the ice a month ago after dealing with a leg injury. According to the Islanders, this torn ACL is in his other knee which is an unfortunate turn of events.
In the 26 games Ladd did play in this season, he’d score only three goals and 11 points.
The Islanders also recently lost Valtteri Filppula for the remainder of the regular season and potentially part of the first round as the 35-year-old is dealing with an upper-body injury.
If he can return for the team in the postseason, it will go a long way as Ladd was skating on the team’s second-line prior to this injury.
Ladd Signing Haunting the Islanders
Ladd is in the third season of a seven-year contract worth $38.5 million that he’d sign with the Islanders in 2016. The deal carried a $5.5 million annual cap hit.
Though the Islanders expected Ladd to join the team and provide a legitimate top-six presence with veteran experience, leadership and a winning pedigree, things haven’t quite worked out as expected for the team.
While Ladd was once a legitimate rough-and-tough forward who could score, hit and lead a team on and off the ice, his ability on the ice is significantly diminished and his physical style of play has seemingly caught up to him.
There’s no denying that Ladd is still a very positive presence to have on the bench and in the locker room for the Islanders but his play at 33 years old is nothing short of concerning. Couple that with the injuries this season and it’s simply a mess.
Even worse is the fact that the Islanders will still have Ladd on their payroll through the 2022-23 season with a no-trade clause in 2019-20 and a modified no-trade clause in 2020-21 through the end of the deal.
This isn’t Ladd’s fault, of course, as he’s been willing to give his all on the ice from his first day in the NHL back during the 2005-06 season as a member of the Carolina Hurricanes. Unfortunately, age catches all players eventually and injuries are impossible to predict.