A year ago, the Islanders rid themselves of the Andrew Ladd contract by sending the veteran forward to the Arizona Coyotes along with a 2nd round pick in 2021, a 2nd round pick in 2022, and a conditional 3rd round selection in 2023. Now according to a report, the New York Islanders could get clarity around the 2023 3rd rounder before the end of the summer.
Craig Morgan of PHNX Sports wrote last week, "The Coyotes still do not know whether veteran Andrew Ladd plans to play this season. Ladd has one more year remaining on his contract and his agent, JP Barry, said that Ladd will not make any decisions about his future until it is time to start ramping up his training later this summer."
If Ladd decides to retire, it will benefit the Islanders. If Ladd ends up playing for the Coyotes, that benefits the Islanders too. That's because the conditions of the 2023 3rd round pick are such, that the pick would be transferred to Arizona only if Ladd does not play professional games this season and doesn't retire.
This likely means a LTIR situation would be needed for the pick to be made by the Coyotes.
Ladd last appeared in a regulation season game for the Islanders on March 10, 2020, and played in Game 2 of the Conference Semi-Final versus the Tampa Bay Lightning on September 9, 2020. After not playing in the NHL during the 2021 season, there was speculation as to whether Ladd would end up getting on the ice for the Coyotes at all after the trade.
But Ladd was determined to find a way back to the NHL and played 51 games for Arizona, registering 12 points (7 G, 5A) as a bottom-six forward that saw occasional time both on the power-play and penalty-kill. In the next to last game of the season, Ladd reached the 1,000 career games played milestone, especially meaningful after the adversity he faced in recent years.
"I'm really proud to be able to play 1,000 games," said Ladd after reaching the mark. "I was sitting in Bridgeport a couple years ago with this goal in mind to get back to playing NHL games again and ultimately hitting this milestone. To finally be here and see all that hard work and time that I put into getting back into this spot so I could have this opportunity is fulfilling to say the least."
In 1,001 career games across 16 NHL seasons, he's scored 256 goals and collected 294 assists. In 181 games with the Islanders, Ladd had 72 points (39 G, 33 A) after signing a 7-year contract in 2016.