Why Andrew Ladd?
Andrew Ladd was brought in during the 2016 free agency window when Kyle Okposo, Frans Nielsen, and Matt Martin were all allowed to leave. Ladd was brought in on a big money deal to sit on a line next to John Tavares.
The Islanders gave Ladd a seven-year $38.5 million deal with the most incredible trade protection I’ve ever seen. Within a few weeks, Ladd was on the Islanders third line, well away from John Tavares.
To date, the New York Islanders have paid Andrew Ladd a total of $15.5 million over two years for a return of 60 points. With an AAV of $5.5 million, Ladd is the third highest paid player on the team but is producing less than Brock Nelson.
As players like Anders Lee and Jordan Eberle enter the final year of their deal, the Islanders could use that cap space taken by Andrew Ladd to keep players that actually produce.
Possibility Level – Almost Impossible
For all the reasons already listed teams will stay away from Andrew Ladd. He’s got a huge cap hit for another five years and produces little. Ladd isn’t desirable.
And even if he was desirable, Ladd is in complete control over if and where he gets traded. For the next two seasons, Ladd has a full no-trade clause. So unless he’s going to a cup contender, he isn’t moving.
The only option for the New York Islanders to entice a team to take on Andrew Ladd would be to retain a significant portion of his salary, say $2 million or 36 percent of his cap hit.
Paying Andrew Lad to not play for the Islanders might not be ideal, but cleaning $3.5 million off their cap would make a huge difference in their ability to not only retain Lee and Eberle but to give them some cap flexibility going forward.