Why Andrew Ladd Deserves a Chance to Play on Mat Barzal’s Line

The New York Islanders suffered their first back to back losses this weekend, not including shootouts, since the middle of December. Andrew Ladd is once again healthy and looking to make an impact on the first place New York Islanders, a team that has lacked offensive production as of late. As Mat Barzal’s line continues to struggle, it might be time to give the thirty-three year old a chance to get that line scoring once again.

The NHL Trade Deadline is an hour away, and the price for a potential rental may be higher than Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello would like. That, or he might just want to stick with the team he has and keep all future assets. Insert Andrew Ladd. Before Ladd’s injury this season, he scored seven points in fourteen games, which was a very positive start to the 2018-19 season compared to the previous two lackluster seasons Ladd has had with the Islanders.

The New York Islanders signed Andrew Ladd to a seven year, $38.5 million contract on Jul. 1, 2016. Since then, Ladd has played in 151 games with the organization, but has only put up a mere sixty points in his first two seasons. Andrew Ladd certainly has Playoff experience, being apart of two Stanley Cup winning teams in his fourteen year career. His Playoff numbers aren’t spectacular, only scoring eighteen points in sixty-four games. But he knows what it takes to win in the postseason and has much experience of what a winning culture is like.

Barzal has 50 points in 60 games, and despite leading the Islanders in points, his line has been very silent recently. Barzal has had very little help on his line, playing with Tom Kuhnhackl since the demotion of Michael Dal Colle. Potentially adding Ladd in Kuchhackl’s spot could give Barzal a winger that is more willing to shoot the puck, which would help generate more offensive chances for the somewhat quiet first line.

If the Islanders aren’t looking to make a big splash during the NHL Trade Deadline, they can certainly look to the thirty-three year old as a short term solution to the recent lack of production from Barzal’s line.

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