The Andrew Ladd signing back in 2016 has proven to be a major problem on Long Island. The Islanders are currently up against the salary cap for the near future, exploring the options to get his contract off the books is the possibility for the team.
But with this contract, the removal from the Islanders payroll comes with a cost. I am going to go over the pros and cons of trading Andrew Ladd.
Andrew Ladd’s trade value is non-existent, with only four games played in the last two seasons, no team is willing to give up a roster spot for that production. Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello will have to pull some major strings to get Andrew Ladd out of New York. The price for that is most likely going to be assets along with Ladd to get little or nothing in return other than the $5.5 Million cap space.
On February 24th, 2020, the NHL’s trade deadline, after acquiring Jean-Gabriel Pageau from the Ottawa Senators, Lamoriello nearly completed a deal with the Minnesota Wild which involved Ladd. The trade was confirmed to include Andrew Ladd along with other rumored assets such as draft picks and prospect Kieffer Bellows for Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu. The deal ultimately fell through due to the cap retainment the Wild would have to endure to complete the deal.
Possible Trade Partners
Four teams currently have cap space that exceeds the cap hit Andrew Ladd carries, the Ottawa Senators, Los Angeles Kings, Detroit Red Wings, and New Jersey Devils. Going over each teams cap situation, with the Senators needing to resign Brady Tkachuk along with other assets, this team would most likely not be a viable option.
The only two teams that seem like viable options for the Islanders is the Kings and the Red Wings, the Kings having a very deep prospect pool (Meaning no push for a Stanley Cup in the next three years due to development), and no major resigning needed other than Gabriel Vilardi in the period Ladd’s contract covers, the Kings would obviously want a lot of assets from the Islanders but are a viable option.
The Detroit Red Wings are in desperate need of defence, with the majority of their core being over the age of 30, with limited defence prospects, the Islanders can find a way to negotiate and fill both teams’ needs.
Possible Trade Scenarios
Los Angeles Kings
The Los Angeles Kings have an extremely impressive prospect pool, headlined by Quinton Byfield. The Kings are in the later stages of their rebuild, with prospects slowly bleeding into their main lineup. This means that entry level contracts are starting to be used. An average entry-level contract is three years, meaning the Kings could take the Ladd cap hit in that window. With their cap space of over $9 million currently, the Andrew Ladd contract wouldn’t damage the future of the team. Now, what would be the outcome for the Islanders in this trade.
The Islanders would most likely have to give up an asset along with Ladd to get his cap hit off the books, with the Kings still looking for future assets, the most likely scenario include some draft picks, luckily, with the Devon Toews trade having a draft capital return, the Islanders can use those picks in the possible trade.
Kings Receive: Islanders Receive:
Andrew Ladd Conditional 5th Round Pick (Turns into a 4th round pick if Ladd plays 30 games)
Colorado’s Second Round Pick (2021)
Colorado’s Second Round Pick (2022)
Like I mentioned earlier, the Red Wings are in desperate need to improve their defence core. Aging veterans like Danny DeKeyser and incoming vet Marc Staal fill in their top four. Their only A-rated prospect, Moritz Seider is looking to make an impact on the roster later this season. The Islanders can advantage of the Red Wings needs as the Isles have an abundance of defence talent and prospects. The Islanders could attach a defence prospect to Andrew Ladd’s contract in order to complete a deal with the Wings. Like the Kings, the Wings do not have any major singings to complete in the window of Ladd’s contract. A likely trade could look like this.
Red Wings Receive: Islanders Receive:
Andrew Ladd Los Vegas’ 3rd Round Pick (2021)
Bode Wilde/Samuel Bolduc
In conclusion, Andrew Ladd’s contract is abysmal at best. With the right moves, Lamoriello could be able to get the contract off Long Island.