Irresponsible Rumormongering

Why the Rangers should acquire Andrew Ladd

WINNIPEG, MB - MARCH 12: Andrew Ladd #16 of the Winnipeg Jets looks on during first period action against the Vancouver Canucks at the MTS Centre on March 12, 2014 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The Canucks defeated the Jets 3-2 in the shootout. (Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Kozub)

Anyone that watched the mini-debacle against the Ottawa Senators will know that there are a few serious flaws to be found on the Rangers roster. The win against the Sabres shouldn’t change the way people view the Rangers. This team doesn’t engage enough along the boards and they certainly don’t go to the net enough or make life difficult enough for the opposing goaltenders. The blank in Ottawa wasn’t an isolated case. This team needs to change its DNA up front (or at least mix it up) and needs a different type of top six forward.

In theory, the Rangers should have the players to get to the net with regularity. When Rick Nash wants to he can absolutely dominate most defenders and when he drives to the net he’s hard to stop. Same goes for Chris Kreider but too often both players play on the perimeter. At least, when you consider the physical tools at their disposal. Even if you consider their attempts to generate traffic appropriate, the rest of the roster doesn’t get to the high traffic areas nearly enough.

Enter Andrew Ladd. A lot has been made in the Canadian media of the breakdown in contract talks between Ladd and the Jets. If the rumours are true and the Jets are making re-signing Dustin Byfuglien their priority then Ladd is expected to be traded before the deadline. Its assumed the Jets cannot retain both. If Ladd really is out there the Rangers should find a way to get him.

Ladd is a player that can singlehandedly change the way the Rangers play. He’s physical, he’s a big body (6’3, 200+ lbs) and he can score. He’ll also go to the right areas on the ice and will happily put his body on the line. Only once in the past six seasons has Ladd been held under fifty points and that was when he was almost a point per game in the lockout shortened season.

Ladd is underperforming this year but it’s fair to assume, on a bad team and with the distractions that the contract stalemate has likely brought, a change would represent a new lease of life for the Jets captain. Speaking of captains (or leadership), the Rangers could do with more leadership in the locker room. Ladd is a well respected guy, by all reports his teammates love playing for him and at times the Rangers have appeared to have had a leadership void (of sorts) since Marty St Louis skated off into the sunset.

Ladd won’t be cheap; neither to acquire or to retain. A lot of clubs trying to make their presence felt beyond April need what Ladd can offer so the Jets will gladly entertain a bidding war for their skipper and if the rumours are true that Ladd wants north of 6m for a long term extension can the Rangers truly afford him? But should the real question be can the Rangers afford not to have him?

This team badly needs an additional top six presence. It doesn’t need any more finesse or perimeter play and it needs an injection of high end skill of a different kind. Ladd would bring everything the Rangers need, arguably both on and off the ice.

What would Ladd cost to acquire? It would likely start with (at least) one of Kevin Hayes or Chris Kreider and that’s just the start. The Rangers have under a month to decide what they have with their younger players and who they are happy to move forward with and who they are happy to part with.

Make no mistake, the new contract just handed out to Alex Barkov of the Panthers will have been noted by Chris Kreider and his agent. Should Kreider finish the year strongly (and his game has been coming on of late) there’s every chance his agent’s demands will start at 5m for a long term deal. Hell, it will probably start at 5m even if Kreider has a bad finish to the year such is the appeal of Kreider if he hit the market.

Would the Rangers prefer to go with a known quantity (Kreider) that has yet to truly develop as they had hoped or would they rather commit that money to a guy such as Ladd who has a stronger track record and who would likely be a real locker room presence? Interesting questions lie ahead for Jeff Gorton and the coaching staff.

Whether Ladd is a realistic option for the Rangers depends on how much they’re willing to invest in a season in which the window of contention appears to be closing (depending on your take of the young core and the upcoming prospects). It also depends on who they’re willing to part with and what cap space can be moved. Lots of ifs and buts indeed.

Two things are nigh on certain as the Rangers enter the All Star break. A legitimate top six forward in Andrew Ladd is available for the right price and the Rangers (surely) cannot win the Cup in their current state. At this stage surely it is only a Stanley Cup that counts. February will tell us how much it counts to management. Andrew Ladd anyone?


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  • Good player but 6+ mil per? Way too much. The Rangers need to stay away from these kind of contracts. For years they took the bait in FA & signed guys for way more than their value. We have some physical forwards(Miller,Kreider,Stalberg,Nash,Glass) but apart from Glass they don’t always play that way. The team needs a much more physical D than they have & for the life of me I can’t understand why a strong guy like McDonagh is not more physical than he is. The team needs to have 25+ hits per game, a stat I never see posted but which I think is important. And those hits need to be spread out over the entirety of the team. A guy like Lindberg is not huge but his hits are more than one would expect. At least I think they are. Any stats on this?

  • I would move Kreider for sure. He’s definitely not worth $5 mill per. He has great everything, expect the ability to finish and to NOT take stupid penalties(ala Benoit Pouliet) . Candidly speaking I would move him to retain Yandle, but it seems doubtful Yandle even wants to stay. If you can bring Ladd in and sign him at $6 mill long term you have to do that deal.
    This team seems to covet grit on the 4th line…Stoll, Paille, Glass. But grit in the top 6 can be far more effective.
    Love your point about going to the net. Is anyone other than JT Miller going to the net these days?
    this team needs a make over on the fly.

  • As a former Thrashers season ticket holder who saw Ladd play every night when he was a little older than Kreider is now (Ladd turned 25 in December instead of April 2016), I will tell you that Kreider has a lot more potential than Ladd due to his speed and has produced more. Ladd for Kreider+ in my opinion is EXACTLY the type of trade the Rangers have made since I’ve been watching them (late 60’s). Ladd IS on the downside of his career, although he almost certainly has 3 or more highly productive years left.

    Afraid Kreider will command $5M? Fine. Offer him a qualifying offer for about that and consider getting a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round compensation as a win if you can’t match the offer sheet someone else signs him to. That’s the amount it will cost to re-sign Ladd anyway.

    Hayes I’d consider. I have not been very happy with his play this season after thinking he would be the best of the young forwards last season. Perhaps he is suffering from the infamous sophomore jinx, but I am as low on Hayes as I was high on him at the start of the season.

  • Ladd is a legitimate upgrade over Hayes/Kreider, but another $6M contract may be too much to bare. His style is a perfect fit, but unless you send some big $$ the other way, there is no way to sign him. As he is a free agent, would it really take more than a Hayes & a 2nd round pick to get him?

  • I think Andrew Ladd would be an awesome addition. Love the way he plays and what he would bring and as Amy said he does have two cups.

    I am not sure he is $6M guy though – but that line is blurring daily. I certainly don’t think Kreids is a $5M guy either.

    That being said, I don’t think I would trade a 24 yr.old Kreids or 23 yr.old Hayes plus some other asset for a 30 year old Ladd.

    At this point and moving forward it is all about the cap because the cap is just not going to escalate much. Unless they are real studs, giving 30 yr. old guys north of $5M is a pretty risky proposition within the current economic environment.

    • Solid line of logic, FL. I’m right there with you. This is why front office personnel get paid the big bucks.

      • now we can all agree on these points!!!!!!!!

        also, I’m not opposed to moving both Kreider, or Hayes, but not for anyone north of 30 years, we need younger guys, not old tired legs!!!!!!!!!

        it’s not to say Ladd is old, but if we sign him long term, he will be by the end of his contract !!!

        • Statistically speaking, NHL forwards peak at 27/28. See Malkin, Crosby, Drury, Gomez, and, and whole bunch of others who have died on the Ranger vine. We keep trading the future for the promised land, and, the promised land never comes because we’ve traded the future when the time is ripe. The Rangers don’t have a hope in hell of competing for the Cup this year and Gorton is not delusional enough to think that they do. The “one more shot” while Lundqvist is in his prime is a meme without legs.

  • Nice piece, Chris. As you point out, Ladd would be a huge addition to this team. I think he would certainly help us with our listless play at times and help us in the dirty areas- 2 things which this team certainly is lacking.

    If the trade is made, I think Kreider would be the guy who has to go given the team’s structure (aka left wing depth). If we acquire Ladd, he slots behind Nash on the left side, which would push Kreider down to the 3rd line- somewhere he hasn’t played for a few years. Given the money he will command in the off season, that obviously isn’t an ideal fit. To me, that’s the only way this happens and it is probably a fit for both teams. The Rangers want a player with peak performance today- is their patience wearing thin on Kreider? WPG, would likely have another couple years of patience for that to develop, considering they don’t have a core to compete for the cup today.

    The MSL and Yandle acquisitions, coupled with Lundqvist’s age should force the Rangers hand to favor today over tomorrow.

    All of that said, it doesn’t necessarily address our hole in the top 6- a RW to play behind Zuccarello. However, Miller seems to be filling the canopy well over the past month or so. And he has proven he can do it in the post season. Assuming he sticks, this should be looked at in a vacuum (Ladd vs Kreider).

    One thing to note is that developmentally, as far as point production when normalized over their careers (i.e. ages) the two players are very similar. Which begs the question… does Kreider take that next step and push from the .5 – .6 points per game range (where Ladd was during similar years ~`07-`10~) to the .7+ threshold where Ladd trended between `10 and `15 ?

    I can’t answer that, but I hope JG and company can. Even if they do believe he does, can Ladd continue to perform at current levels to offset Kreider’s growth, while he is also able to add to the team this spring?

    In conclusion, I try to make this trade given the following

    – cap hits over the next 4-6 years are similar between the two players
    – no other (significant) futures are added

  • are yo guys nuts. Krieder has more trade value than shipping hi,m off for a rental. his post season #’s would command a lot more than that. Ladd is not going to be a ranger. if Krieder and Hayes are traded it will be for a player with high skill and term. Definitely not a older impending UFA . these guys are RFA’s with a lot of size skill and potential that would command a lot.

    • Perhaps, like has happened before, the plan would be to make the trade after NYR and Ladd’s camp talk and the structure for an extension is agreed upon.

  • I would give up young assets for FA to be Ladd. I would trade Stepan for him and get rid of that bad inflated contract. Wouldn’t sign Ladd for more than 3yrs.

    • Then you have to go out and spend more money on a center. Its got to be a Hayes, Kreider, Lindberg,Miller or a Buchnevich along with an established player and probably picks to even begin to discuss a deal. And then you have to fit him under the Cap. Not easy.

      • We have a center his name is Oscar. Stepan’s contract is so Danny G’s going to be a cap killer. I would trade Stepan. He’s not getting any better than what we’ve seen already. He’s a FA at years in. You dont give up that much talent.

        • FA meaning Ladd. To much for a rental. One CUP in 75 years and we still havn’t learned a DAMN THING.

    • Bad day guys. Meant to say i wouldn’t give up young assets for Ladd FA to be. But i would use Stepan in a trade for him. This team has to many nice guys. There isn’t enough bite on this team. No NASTY, easy to play against. There’s enoughing or no one to FEAR or game plan for. No draft picks just Stepan.

  • The logic here is sound. Andrew Ladd is indeed a tough player who goes to the dirty places on the ice to score. The Rangers could sure use that type of player… no doubt. BUT the guy is 31 and he wants how much money??? And you want to trade more than Hayes or Kreider for him??? Come on now. This is guy who has reached 60 points ONCE in his entire career and you want to give up quality assets to get him? In reality, there is a reason why the terrible Jets are balking at paying Ladd, despite legitimately being the most popular player with both the Winnipeg fan base and locker room. If they won’t pay him, then why would we?

    In theory, having Ladd would be great, but not at that age, for that dough, and not for the assets it would take.

    • stop with the trading of forwards already!
      it starts from the net out! goalies A-.
      defense a D. Boyle-Gone Yandle probably too expensive. McD will net a top 3 forward. Staal and Giradi packaged need the cap space. These guys good loyal troops that have yet to win. There is little reason to think they can do it as they get older. Slats should be sued for financial malfeasance. Those 5 guys represent $20 million. Klein, McIlrath, Skjei and Graves. Should be able to FA 2 guys for $10 million who are not over 30.
      Would TB do Stamkos for Nash? No? Didnt think so.
      No disrespect to any of these players.Its just the NYR wont win a cup with them.

  • I agree why trade assets. Trade a bad contract like Stepan’s.give Ladd no more than 3yrs on any deal. Mark my words Stepan’s deal is a. cap killer. Overpaid and overrated. I would not over pay for Ladd. Clearing Stepan deal allows for a real run at Stamkos. While holding on to young assets for depth.

  • Uhhh…. HELL YES! I’ve actually been looking into potential and realistic players the Rangers can and should trade for and Ladd is at the top of my list! I’m 100% all for the Rangers trading for Ladd and I’m okay with us giving up Kreider for him. Ladd is the exact kind of player we need and should make it a top priority to acquire him!

    • No way, I’d never trade Kreider even up for Ladd. Winnipeg would do that deal in a second. Where is all this nonsense abt Kreider demanding 5 million coming from? Pure unsubstantiated conjecture.

  • We need to learn our lesson. We wouldnt be looking for a top six winger if we didnt trade duclair in the yandle trade. We have given up two number ones in the msl trade, and one with yandle. We have few propects
    it is time for the rangers to re tool on the fly.
    Time to trade yandle

    The only forwards earning their paycheck are miller, zuc, brassard and lindberg. On defense its mcilrath, klein and mcdonagh.

    Everyone else should be available in a trade.

  • Would deal Stepan in a heartbeat………been saying this for years…….nice guy…….slow…..soft… shot…..
    dont want ladd…….too old ….makes too much…
    only move…. package girardi with stepan get young center or picks….
    play McIlrath ………..every game…… AV… underachieving big time…..
    would move nash and stall also of I could…..
    with money ?????? Stamkos ..or ..maybe…….
    who owns rights to Kovalchuk???????
    Coach Messier!!!!!!!!!

  • Andrew Ladd? Why not bring Phil Esposito out of retirement. If adding big named past their prime hockey players onto the roster was the ticket to success: the Rangers would of won dozens of Stanley Cups by now.

    • spot on!!!!!!!!!!!

      over the course of our history, we made terrible moves like the one mentioned, to acquire marquee named players, well past their prime, just for a quick fix !!!!!!!!!!!!

      how often has it worked out over the last 75 years????????????

      let’s not let facts get between us and results…………

  • It’s a Logan’s Run league today and Ladd’s crystal just changed color. Unless a rental only, pass. I’d offer Hayes straight up. He’s had a year & a half to show what he is and I don’t like what I see.

    • And Stepan for that matter!

      Its absolutely baffling to me how some wanna trade our number 1, homegrown Centers that hasnt even come close to his prime for an over the hill player that doesn’t even put up more points then Stepan to begin with!

      Is Stepan over paid? Maybe, slightly. However, ask me this question in several years when the market for the going rate for centers of his caliber have stabilized. It’s unfair to compare a players salary/contract 5 months into a 6 year deal, to a players contract thats at the tail end of a multi year deal that virtually expires in a month.

      • I would trade stepan because he is a number 3 center getting paid number 1 money….
        compare him to other number ones….taveras stamkos lowes crosby getzlef malkinsedin datsuk bergeron kopitar giriox backstrom……..WHO does he measure up to?????/ NONE!!!!!
        and i can name 20 more!!!!!!!

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