Is Andrew Ladd the Answer for The Blackhawks?
The deal has been made. The move is done. The Chicago Blackhawks have now welcomed back 30 year-old forward Andrew Ladd.
Ladd was a member of the 2010 Stanley Cup winning Blackhawks side, but in a trade that saw him head to Georgia and the Atlanta Thrashers and then on to the Winnipeg Jets, the Maple Ridge, BC native has had a pretty impressive few seasons. In the six seasons since he was last in Chicago, he’s accumulated a massive 305 points, that includes 139 goals. Seems like a pretty good trade, right?
This trade has seen the Jets say farewell to their captain who has so far earned himself 39 points this season. It has also seen the Blackhawks acquire defenceman Jay Harrison and forward Matt Fraser, both from the Manitoba Moose in exchange for young forward Marko Dano and a 2016 first-round draft and a conditional pick in the 2018 draft. Harrison and Fraser will both report to the Rockford IceHogs.
Ladd has improved hugely in the years since his departure from the Blackhawks. As already mentioned, he’s been racking up the points, thus improving his offensive game which was part of the reason Hawks GM Stan Bowman was keen to bring him back. Ladd is an all-round player that would fit in on any line. With the Blackhawks’ game struggling a fair bit at the moment, the return of Ladd will surely lift the team. In Winnipeg, Ladd has proven himself in every part of the game, whether it be 5-on-5, the power play unit, and also on the power killing moments.
Helping the Hawks
Ladd has also maintained a good friendship with his former (and now current again!) teammates which Stan Bowman says will be important for the on ice performance. It is likely that Ladd will play on a line with Captain Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa, a line that, it is hoped, will cause considerable damage to the opposition and also prove themselves as part of the power play unit.
Always fun when old friends come back to town. pic.twitter.com/eSZkKyB1QM
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) February 26, 2016
The Toews-Hossa line has not been as formidable or noticeable this season. With the departure of Patrick Sharp and Brandon Saad over the summer, there hasn’t been a permanent replacement on that line to really make a strong impact. The Blackhawks are hoping that Ladd will be the answer as he brings so much to the table with his much improved game.
The Blackhawks still have a good chance of repeating last year’s success of winning the Stanley Cup, but their game has declined a little recently. Could Andrew Ladd be the extra man that they need to help them push past this?
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