New York Islanders Five Players Not Playing Their Payroll
Cap Hit: $5.5 million, Seven Years Remaining
Is there a bigger free agent bust than Andrew Ladd this season? I dare you to find one. With his $5.5 million seven-year deal, big things were expected from Ladd. And big things we did no get.
Maybe Michael Boedker with only two points on the season?
Sure, but his cap hit is $1 million less than Ladd’s.
Maybe Dale Weise in Philadelphia? No way. Weise’s four points and $2.35 million cap hit make him look like a bargain compared to Ladd.
Maybe Boston’s recent $6 million man, David Backes? His eight points aren’t great but way better than Ladd’s three.
In 19 games he has three points. Two goals and one assist. That’s it. Not what you expect from a player costing as much on the cap as John Tavares. (Yes, I know Tavares took less, but the comparable is still there).
But like I’ve said a few times already, maybe it’s not all his fault. Sure, at the start of the season Ladd was shooting the puck like crazy and it just wasn’t going in. And it cost him a spot alongside John Tavares on the top line.
Now buried on the fourth line, even after breaking the goal barrier, Ladd looks like a player devoid of confidence. I’m sure he’s still confident he’ll score, his media training won’t let him think otherwise. But on the ice, he’s just not the same.
That’s our $5.5 million player not looking the same because relegation is playing with his production.
Keeping him on the fourth line just doesn’t make sense. It didn’t make sense when the decision was made, and it makes little sense now. If relegating Ladd coincided with the isles winning there might be justification in the move. But that’s not happening now, is it?
So why keep him there? It’s not like the team gets a discount on the cap based on game day lineup decisions.
Next: Winners & Losers - West Coast Edition
I know he isn’t playing fourth line minutes perse. So why keep him away from Tavares? Do the two dislike each other? Is there some sort of irreparable rift between the two that somehow justifies this? I doubt it.