The New York Islanders have dipped into free agency — well, more like splashed — with one of the biggest signings of the day.
Ladd, 30, split last season between Winnipeg and Chicago, having been flipped to the ‘Hawks at the trade deadline. He finished the year with 25 goals and 46 points in 78 games, but his time in Chicago ended with disappointment — acquired for a lengthy playoff run, Ladd had just one goal in seven games in an opening-round loss to St. Louis.
In Brooklyn, though, optimism should be high.
Ladd will presumably get to ride shotgun next to John Tavares on the club’s top line, and will look to eclipse his career-high of 29 goals (with Atlanta in ’10-11.) He’ll also take some of the sting away from the forwards New York lost via free agency — Kyle Okposo, Frans Nielsen, Matt Martin — and brings some additional Cup-winning experience to the Isles’ dressing room, having won with Carolina in ’06 and Chicago in ’10.
Financially speaking, this is a win for Ladd. He just wrapped a five-year, $22 million deal with a $4.4M average annual cap hit and, per reports from earlier this season, had been seeking a six-year extension “with an average annual value north of $6 million” (per TSN).