The Winnipeg Jets have traded captain Andrew Ladd, along with injured Manitoba defenceman Jay Harrison, and Moose Forward Matt Fraser to the Chicago Blackhawks for Center Marko Dano, a 2016 First Round Pick, and a conditional third round draft choice in 2018 that is contingent on the Blackhawks repeating as Stanley Cup Champs.
Under the terms of the deal, Winnipeg will retain 36% of Ladd’s salary so that the Hawks can shoe horn the rest into their remaining available cap space.
Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff appeared during the first intermission of the Jets TV Broadcast from Dallas and said the deal with Chicago had really picked up steam in the last 24-48 hours. He said he had a brief conversation with Ladd and “as you’d expect, he handled it very professionally.”
Cheveldayoff denied during the TV interview that it came down to choosing between his captain and Dustin Byfuglien as to who the Jets would keep among their two high profile unrestricted free agents. The Winnipeg GM did admit after Byfuglien was signed, he told Ladd that “things would be tough, but to just keep playing.”
Blake Wheeler, the most likely to succeed Ladd as team captain, said between periods on the TV Broadcast the dressing room wouldn’t be the same without his long time team mate, and that were would be a void.
Dano is a 21 year old Austrian born left shot center who is 5-11 and 183 pounds and is expected to make his Winnipeg debut on Saturday afternoon in Pittsburgh. He had 1 goal and 1 assist in 13 games with the Hawks earlier this season. In 34 games with the AHL Rockford IceHogs, the former Columbus Blue Jacket First Round Draft Pick had 4 goals and 19 assists for 23 points and a plus 17 ranking.
Last season in 35 games with Columbus, Dano scored 8 goals to go along 13 assists for 21 points. If he could return to that pace of production with Winnipeg. And if the Jets were able to continue their outstanding work at the draft table, this could turn out to be a decent return for Ladd.
The now, former Jets Captain was scratched from the lineup about an hour prior to this evening’s game in Dallas. He had scored 7 goals in his last 10 games after managing just 10 in the team’s first 49 games. It will be Ladd’s second tour of duty with Chicago as he helped the Blackhawks win a Stanley Cup in 2010 before being traded to Atlanta the following season because of salary cap implications.
The 30 year old left winger from Maple Ridge, BC scored 139 goals and added 166 assists for 305 points in 429 games during his almost 6 years with the combined Thrashers-Jets franchise. He led the team in scoring in 3 of those seasons.
Ladd’s next appearance in Winnipeg, but his first as a visiting player, will be Friday, March 18th when the Jets host Chicago. The Blackhawks next game is Sunday at home to Washington.