Islanders: Is Andrew Ladd Next To LTIR?
By Matt O'Leary
After playing just 30 games over the past two seasons for the Islanders, is Andrew Ladd heading to LTIR next?
This past week, we learned that Johnny Boychuk’s career is coming to a close as the Islanders announced that he is unfit to play after suffering an eye injury during the regular season. It’s a sad way for a phenomenal career to come to a close.
Boychuk didn’t officially retire, which means that they will put his cap hit of $6 million on LTIR for the next two seasons. I don’t think Boychuk will be the last name to head to LTIR this year.
Andrew Ladd looks like a prime candidate to head to LTIR as well. This past year he played just four regular-season games and one playoff game. In 2018-2019, it was just 26 games for the Islanders.
So of a possible 180 games over two years, Andrew Ladd has appeared in 31 NHL games, just 17.2 percent of them. Ladd has two bad knees, and one of them is less than two years out from tearing an ACL in there.
Sure, there’s a possibility of burying him in the AHL again, but at age 35 is he really going to want to go through all that pregame prep just to play a handful of games at the AHL level?
I don’t think he’ll retire, then having to forfeit the $1 million a year over the next three seasons. Instead, I think the team will place him on LTIR right next to Mr. Boychuk that way he could still get paid and the team can use that money to go over the cap.
So how LTIR works, is you take the Upper limit minus the team’s cap space and then you add that additional cap from the LTIR contracts on top. For the Islanders, they have $3.9 million in cap space.
If they signed Matt Martin and Andy Greene to $1 million AAV contracts each, that would leave them with just $1.9 million in cap space. From there, you can add the $11.5 million which means the Islanders then have 91.1 million to work with. It’s not necessarily $11.5 million on top of the upper limit.
That would be enough to get Mathew Barzal signed to an extension, and suddenly the cap issue isn’t nearly as bad as what it seemed just a short time ago.
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LTIR can be confusing, but just think of it like this: adding Andrew Ladd to LTIR after signing Matt Martin and Andy Greene back would give the Isles enough space to sign Mathew Barzal. That’s all that matters.