The Chicago Blackhawks have the cap space to bring on some bad contracts. Earlier this week, I talked about how Taylor Hall is a potential player the team could utilize to add a prospect or two; another example would be Andrew Ladd.
Andrew Ladd is not the player he once was. Since signing with the New York Islanders on July 1st, 2016, his 38.5 million dollar cap hit has turned into a rather large nuisance for the team. Ladd has not been great with the Islanders and has spent most of this season on the Taxi Squad until getting sent down to the minors a few weeks ago.
According to CapFriendly, Ladd is making 5.5 million a year through the 2022-23 season. That is the same season Duncan Keith, Patrick Kane, Alex DeBrincat, and Jonathan Toews will finish their current deals.
Trading for Andrew Ladd does limit the amount of cap space the team will have for next season. CapFriendly puts the Blackhawks at 14 million in cap space for next season ahead of the team needing to re-sign players like Nylander, Zadorov, Hagel, Janmark, and Kampf.
Taking on a contract like Ladd will limit the spending this team can do during the next two offseasons, but it will not hurt the team completely. Chicago will have plenty of money to utilize over the course of the next few years, even with Ladd on the books; plus, when his contract is up, the Hawks will then be able to use that money on players like Alex Debrincat and Patrick Kane.
The Andrew Ladd contract would come at a cost for the Blackhawks.
The only time this Ladd contract could hurt Chicago is the 2022 offseason. Next summer, the team will be looking to resign a lot of this roster. Strome. Kubalik, Dach, Boqvist, de Haan, Murphy, and Boqvist will all be coming off the books and looking for a contract. Not to mention all three of their netminders.
The team has about 40 million available to help get those players back, but even still, you would have to imagine some players expecting raises. Taking on a contract like Andrew Ladd’s does present some pros, but the fact of the matter is it might not outweigh the cons in this situation.
It is unlikely the Blackhawks make a move like this. I mean, even our friends over at Eyes On Isles, the FanSided site for the New York Islanders, believe a deal would be hard to get done. The Blackhawks would need considerable compensation to take on Ladd, and the Islanders might not be able to fill it, considering they are also looking to add a player or two ahead of the deadline.
If the Islanders give up next season’s first-round pick and maybe this year’s second, then a deal could possibly get done. The Hawks used to get played in trades involving pieces like this all the time, the Bickell contract cost them Teravanien, and the Hossa contract cost the team Hinostroza. Chicago has constantly had to move their players because of the cap, and now they have an opportunity to do the same to another team.
The past few games have shown that while even though I think the Hawks can be good next season when they get their players back, they are still missing something. Maybe taking on the Ladd contract will net them some prospects that can help rebuild their farm system at a faster rate.
I am sure this will be a topic fans are going to get heated about in the comments. The more and more I think about it, a trade for Ladd does not seem to work with the Blackhawks, but if they did get a deal done, it definitely could bring in a few prospects to get excited about – plus Ladd on the fourth line in Chicago would not be the worst thing in the world.