On the New York Islanders, exit day Andrew Ladd caught up with the media and discussed his down year in 2017-2018. He has higher hopes going forward.
When you pay someone $5.5 million a year you expect them to be an impact player on your team. Unfortunately, in 2017-2018 Andrew Ladd was far from an impact player for the New York Islanders.
In 73 games Ladd gave the Islanders 29 points (12 goals, 17 assists). The 32-year old veteran was brought in before the 2016-2017 season to add a veteran scoring presence and to be a first line Left Wing for John Tavares.
With a combined 60 points in two seasons, he’s been far from effective. He had positive possession numbers this year, 51.7 CF% and a 5.0 CF% rel but other than that Ladd’s year was flat out bad.
He seems pretty self-aware, today as the Islanders are set to exit the 2017-2018 Ladd spoke to the media about his season:
"“I think you evaluate the things that you need to improve upon and then come up with a game plan to address those issues. Obviously, I expect more from myself.”"
The two years before Ladd was added to the Islanders he put up 46 and 62 points respectively while captain of the Winnipeg Jets. Ladd hasn’t been able to recreate that same production since making the move to the blue and orange.
Ladd’s contract, another five years at $5.5 million, makes him pretty much immovable. The Islanders are stuck with him, for lack of a better term, and are going to have to find the best situation for him in order to succeed.
Despite the recent success of Anthony Beauvillier on the second line wing, it may make sense to put Ladd back on the Barzal line. You seemed to get the most productive version of Ladd this year when he played with Barzal early on in the season.
With Ladd – Barzal – Eberle reuniting on the second line it allows you to go with the ultra-cheap (which can help the Islanders who are overpaying guys like Ladd, Boychuk, Clutterbuck and Cizikas) line of Bellows – Beauvillier – Ho-Sang (combined cap hit of $2.7 million next year).
Andrew Ladd is right, he has to be better next year. But the Isles need to put him in the best position to succeed which would be with the second line.