Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks Are Now Stanley Cup Favorites

By Sean Fitzgerald
Feb 23, 2016; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Winnipeg Jets left wing Andrew Ladd (16) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Dallas Stars during the second period at MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 23, 2016; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Winnipeg Jets left wing Andrew Ladd (16) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Dallas Stars during the second period at MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports /
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Chicago Blackhawks General Manager Stan Bowman loves reacquiring former Blackhawks, especially Blackhawks that played with the team earlier in his tenure. It was Kris Versteeg two seasons ago, and Thursday night it was Andrew Ladd. The Chicago Blackhawks acquired Andrew Ladd from the Winnipeg Jets for a 2016 first-round pick, a conditional 2018 pick and Marko Dano. TSN had been reporting for the last several days that the Blackhawks were very interested in Ladd. While at first blush the price might seem high, by landing Ladd the Blackhawks have solidified themselves as the clear favorite to win the Stanley Cup.

Here are three reasons why Ladd makes the Blackhawks Stanley Cup favorites:

1. Ladd fills a hole. The Blackhawks had a glaring hole on the top line ever since Brandon Saad was sent to Columbus. The Blackhawks tried Richard Panik, Teuvo Teravainen, Viktor Tikhonov, Ryan Garbutt, Vincent Hinostroza, Dano and Andrew Shaw in the top-line left wing spot. While Shaw has performed the best of the group, he is not a top-six forward. Ladd is 6-foot-3, 200 pounds and logged top-line minutes in Winnipeg. Ladd in his career has 202 goals and 252 assists for 452 points. Ladd’s points combined with Toews’ 549 and currently injured right wing Marian Hossa’s 1,084 gives the Blackhawks’ proposed top line 2,085 career NHL points.

2. Ladd gives the Blackhawks depth. The key to the Blackhawks’ three championship titles in the last six seasons has been their depth. They have been able to overwhelm teams with four lines that can be rolled continuously. With Ladd joining Toews, and eventually Hossa, on the top line, Shaw is now able to slide down the lineup to the third or fourth line. Shaw moving down might then send Brandon Mashinter to the bench.

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The Blackhawks could then roll out:

The move also did not cost anyone from the Blackhawks’ current NHL roster.

3. Ladd knows how to win championships. Ladd has won two NHL championships in his NHL career — one with Carolina and one with Chicago. Ladd understands the playoff push and the Blackhawks’ way of winning. He was part of the 2009-10 championship team.

He is also leader and will join the Blackhawks’ veteran leadership group. There is a reason why, after being traded to the Winnipeg Jets from Chicago, he was eventually named the Jets’ captain.

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Once again, the Blackhawks struck a deal right before the NHL trade deadline, getting ahead of the deadline madness. Is Bowman done dealing? We will have to wait and see.

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