Editorials

Islanders trade market for Andrew Ladd is non-existent

New York Islanders left wing Andrew Ladd (16) (Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders left wing Andrew Ladd (16) (Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Trading away Andrew Ladd would be great for the New York Islanders salary cap, but it’s not going to happen anytime soon.

The New York Islanders still have a few decisions to make and deals to sign before the 20-21 season. With the acquisition of Dmytro Timashov from the Detroit Red Wings on Friday, the team now has two RFA’s still to sign before January 13 and still have a few UFA’s that are all but officially signed (Martin, Greene, Schneider).

With Johnny Boychuk going to LTIR after announcing his retirement following a nasty eye injury, the Islanders should very well have the cap space to sign everyone to contracts. But if the Islanders want to bring in any more help they’ll have to shed more money off the salary cap.

Sportsnet’s Ryan Dixon

thought that

Andrew Ladd

could be sent to some team with a ton of cap space to create more cap relief. I don’t think, in this economy, that is even remotely possible.

Not Gonna Happen

Dixon correctly states that Ladd was being shopped around the league by the Islanders last season. The veteran player with two Stanley Cup rings (one with Carolina and another with Chicago) waived his no-trade clause to allow a move to Minnesota at the trade deadline, but the move died out because the Islanders traded their first-round pick to Ottawa for Jean-Gabriel Pageau.

Dixon believes, a team with a bunch of cap space could bring in Ladd in order to extract a huge price out of the Islanders. That’s just not going to happen.

That trade to Minnesota would have seen the Isles add some $2 million in cap space by bringing back Zach Parise.

The Islanders weren’t able to offload Johnny Boychuk and his $6 million cap hit this offseason. Even with Boychuk on LTIR, where 80% of his contract is insurable, the Isles weren’t able to entice anyone to make the trade. Why would teams now trade for Andrew Ladd who isn’t destined for LTIR at the start of 20-21?

Ladd has played 30 NHL games over the last two years. I can’t imagine a team would take on his $5.5 million cap hit (in a covid economy and flat cap) for him to maybe play this season? Maybe the Isles could make it worth a team’s while by giving up valuable assets like a first-round pick or a top prospect. but those are assets the Islanders have no business trading away at the moment.

The Isles traded away their first-rounder last year. With an arguably weak prospect pool, trading away first-round picks in back-to-back years doesn’t help the Islanders down the road.

Trading away top prospects now for cap relief is just as bad of an idea. If the Islanders are going to stay competitive they’ll need some of those top prospects to have an impactful role for the club while under cheap entry-level contracts.

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If the Isles still need more cap space it’s likely that we see Andrew Ladd playing in the AHL this season or following Johnny Boychuk and “retiring” with his contract being placed on LTIR. Being traded just isn’t in the cards.

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