With John Tavares off with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the New York Islanders need a new captain. It absolutely should not be Andrew Ladd.
There have been loads of names tossed around as to who should be the New York Islanders new captain. Anders Lee, Josh Bailey, Johnny Boychuk, Andrew Ladd, and Cal Clutterbuck have been the most popular names considered. Even Mathew Barzal has had his name thrown out there.
However, as great as Barzal is, and as much as he’d lead the team on the ice, he is too young to be captain. I’d be hypocritical considering how much I criticized the Oilers for making McDavid captain while he was so young. But I’m not here to tell you why it shouldn’t be Barzal, instead, I’m going to tell you why it just can’t be Andrew Ladd.
Shadow of His Former Self
Honestly, Ladd has a good track record. He won a Stanley Cup early in his career with Carolina in 2006, and another one with Chicago in 2010. Ladd was also the captain of the Winnipeg Jets for five years, leading them to a playoff appearance in the 2014-15 season. However, Ladd has been a shadow of his old self ever since he joined the Islanders.
In his first year for the club, he scored 23 goals and eight assists for 31 points in 78 games. Eight assists is his lowest return since a 20 game stint with Chicago in 2007-08. In the following year for the Islanders, Ladd drastically dropped to 12 goals. He’s clearly shown no signs of improvement offensively.
Being captain doesn’t always mean you have to be an offensive force, but Ladd doesn’t bring any other qualities to the table and doesn’t seem to thrive on his past experience. For example, Ladd only had 76 hits last year but over the previous four seasons he’s averaged 158 per season. In my opinion Ladd has shown a decline in physicality and doesn’t use his 6’3″ frame well and his dropping hitting stats reflect that.
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Ladd has never been a communicative force for the Islanders like he has been in previous years of his career. Ladd ultimately has been underwhelming and should not be captain let alone an alternate which he currently holds. The Islanders should stitch the ‘C’ on someone else’s jersey.