Chicago Blackhawks Recent Returning Player History

CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 18: Brian Campbell
CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 18: Brian Campbell /
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CHICAGO, IL – APRIL 23: Andrew Ladd
CHICAGO, IL – APRIL 23: Andrew Ladd /

Andrew Ladd

Two years after winning the Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes in his rookie season, Andrew Ladd was traded to the Blackhawks during the 2007-08 season for Tuomo Ruutu, a move that saw each team receiving a former first-round pick from each other. Ladd played in 182 games in his first two-and-a-half seasons with the Hawks. He scored 37 goals, had 62 assists, and was a plus-32 on the ice. In his two full seasons in 2008-09 and 2009-10 he had a 56.5% and 56.2% Corsi-for percentage. His solid regular season performances didn’t translate to the stat sheet in the postseason, however, as he only accumulated 10 points in the 36 playoff games he played with the Hawks over those two seasons.

Ladd was traded to the Thrashers after the 2010 Stanley Cup run in the first major salary cap purge under Stan Bowman. This was the the second trade with Atlanta that offseason, the first of which saw Dustin Byfuglien, Brent Sopel, and Ben Eager head Southeast. Ladd signed a one-year deal with the Thrashers and was named team captain shortly into the 2010-11 season. He stayed with the franchise through their move North of the border as the new Winnipeg Jets, signing a five-year deal that averaged $4.4 million a year.

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Fast forward to the 2015-16 season, the Jets, knowing Ladd was unlikely to fit their future plans when his contract expired at season’s end, found a trading partner. The Blackhawks were looking for additional forward depth in a gear up for another playoff run and Ladd was the best option available. The Hawks sent prospect Marko Dano (acquired in the trade of Brandon Saad to Columbus the previous summer), a 2016 first-round pick, and a 2018 conditional pick in return to Winnipeg.

Ladd’s return to Chicago is a complicated one. In his short 19 regular season games back with the team, he accumulated 8 goals and 4 assists and looked to be an additional scoring presence the Hawks could use to try and win back-to-back Cups for the first time in the salary cap era. But in that short stretch, Ladd’s possession numbers showed a poor 49.2% Corsi-for. When the playoffs came, Ladd was invisible. He was only able to provide one goal and one assist in a seven-game series the ‘Hawks lost to the divisional rival St. Louis Blues.

Ladd was never able to get going and provide the Hawks the added boost they needed to make a run to another championship. Making matters worse was losing a solid prospect in Dano and a first-round pick to reacquire him. This was certainly a risk vs. reward move that back fired on Bowman and the Hawks. You can’t fault them going for it with the Stanley Cup window still being open, but the loss of young talent for a short and overall unsuccessful rental will never be looked on fondly.