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New York Islanders Hope for the Best on Andrew Ladd in 2018-19

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 13: Andrew Ladd #16 of the New York Islanders reacts in the second period against the Columbus Blue Jackets during their game at Barclays Center on February 13, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 13: Andrew Ladd #16 of the New York Islanders reacts in the second period against the Columbus Blue Jackets during their game at Barclays Center on February 13, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
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Looking at the New York Islanders contract structure and one glaring issue stands out. Andrew Ladd is the second highest paid forward on the team. The best the Isles can do is hope for the best.

Of course, if the New York Islanders could have kept John Tavares, that would have changed. Ladd would have been the third highest paid forward for the Islanders. Behind Tavares and Eberle.

Tavares’ contributions would have been worth the money. Jordan Eberle at $6 million through this season is much of the same. The former Oiler has been a Corsi monster with the Islanders and has struck up a fantastic partnership with 2018 Calder Trophy winner Mathew Barzal.

But

Andrew Ladd

is far from living up to his price tag. It’s not even that the Islanders are paying him a ton for little production. There’s little the Islanders can do to get out of the deal.

Whats In The Deal

Over the two years that Andrew Ladd has been with the Islanders, he’s scored 35 goals and 60 points. For a player that’s making $5.5 million on the cap for the next five seasons, that’s not enough.

So what do the Isles do, trade him? Not unless he’s willing to waive that no-trade clause he has for the next two seasons. Don’t worry, It doesn’t get much easier trying to trade him after that either.

In 2020-21 when his no-trade clause expires Ladd has a modified no-trade clause with a 15 no-trade list. That’s just under half the NHL now that Vegas is in the league.

(All cap and contract details from Cap Friendly.)

What about a buyout then? Sure, but it’s not like the Isles would be doing themselves any favors. A buyout would mean the Isles would be forced to pay $4.83 million per year for the next five seasons (the duration of Ladd’s deal). And another $333,333per year for another five years after that.

That’s $4.83 million over the first five years of the buyout represents a $666,666 savings. That’s not enough to justify a buyout.

So he can’t be traded (unless he wants to be traded). And a buyout serves no purpose but to pay a player a ton of money to not play for you. What should the New York Islanders do then?

New York Islanders

Hope For The Best

Andrew Ladd just turned 32 in December, the natural decline of age shouldn’t be so sharp just yet. Andrew Ladd should still have another good year or two in him. This is a player that for the six years before coming to Long Island was scoring no less than 46 points a year.

For the Islanders, the hope has to be that he can perform at least at a 40 point pace for the next two years. After that, you try to find him a new home. The Isles might have to eat some salary, but it’s going to be less than a buyout is clearly going to cost them.

It’s a plan full of pitfall and peril. But it’s the only one they got.

Hoping for the best is never the best strategy. For two years Ladd hasn’t been a 40 point producer. Why would he start now in year three?

He’s not likely to get a starting role on the Islanders top-six, but with a new coach in Barry Trotz perhaps he puts Ladd next to Kovar (or Nelson) on the second line rather than Anthony Beauvillier. Maybe that’s the motivational boost that gets Andrew Ladd going in 2018-19.

That’s it. That’s the Islanders best shot of getting something out of Andrew Ladd’s monster deal. Pair him with better players further up the depth chart and see what happens. Again, pitfall and peril.

What does that mean for Anthony Beauvillier who gets bumped down? We’ve seen what happens to him when he’s placed with less skilled players.

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If the New York Islanders want to get out from Ladd’s deal in two years time, they’ll have to find a way to make Ladd valuable to someone not on his 15 team no-trade list. Good luck. Garth really put the Islanders in a pickle with this deal.

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