On July 1, 2016, then Islanders GM Garth Snow signed 30-year-old free agent Andrew Ladd to a seven-year deal worth $5.5 million per year. The replacement for Kyle Okposo, who left for Buffalo that same off-season, Ladd had considerable miles on him. He won a Cup in Carolina and another with Chicago before being a leader in Atlanta and Winnipeg. To say Ladd hasn’t lived up to that cap hit would be an understatement.
He put up 23 goals his first season but just eight assists for 31 points. His seconds season ended with 29 points in 73 games. Once the new regime of Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz took over, Ladd fell out of favor despite his tremendous cost. Ladd got into just 26 games in 2018-19, putting up 11 points as he battled injuries. This season, Ladd has spent most of his time in the AHL, spending 34 games with Bridgeport compared to just four with the Islanders.
Ladd put up 11 goals with the Sound Tigers this season as a mentor to youngsters like Kieffer Bellows, Simon Holmstrom and Oliver Wahlstrom. His veteran leadership will be seen in the type of players and people these prospects develop into in the coming years. There’s really not much else positive to say about him this year other than that.
Ladd began the season injured. When he did come back, he was sent almost immediately to Bridgeport. He played one NHL game in December and another in February but couldn’t stick around until injuries forced him into the lineup in the Islanders’ final two regular-season games. He scored once in those four games but the final regular-season moment for the Islanders this season before the pause was an Andrew Ladd failed shootout attempt in Vancouver.
Ladd’s expectations before the season varied depending on who you asked. Most fans would say they just expect him to stay healthy and be available while his contract expects 30 goals and 50 points. He didn’t really live up to either. One goal in four games while being pushed out of the lineup by better players is an issue. He was also injured to start the year, hurting his availability. Ladd failed to meet the low expectations of him and it seems that he may be close to done at the NHL level despite three more years on his contract.
The Moment of the Season
Ladd scored once in the final game of the regular season.
Video courtesy of NHL.com
Ladd does a good job getting to the net and using his body to screen Thatcher Demko. He’s able to get a stick on Josh Bailey’s shot and open the scoring. A great play by him to use his strength to get inside position and get stick-on-puck.
It isn’t pretty. Ladd’s massive contract is essentially dead weight at this point on the Islanders’ cap. His only contribution at this point is in a leadership role. If it wasn’t for Loui Eriksson, this would be the worst of a garbage pile of bad deals made in the summer of 2016. I give Ladd no fault for signing the contract but Garth Snow botched this one from a team perspective.