The Winnipeg Jets are in the midst of contract negotiations with captain Andrew Ladd, but the best thing for the Jets going forward is to trade the veteran. Moving on from Ladd would be a difficult decision and it may be hard for the team to adjust to life without him, but it’s the right move for Winnipeg.
In 49 games this season, Ladd has 10 goals and 27 points. At this pace he won’t be able to match the career-high point production he had last season with 62 points in 81 games. Although management and fans would love to keep Ladd, it won’t happen with what he reportedly wants for his next contract.
With his contract expiring this summer, Ladd apparently wants a contract length of six years and $6 million or more per year. A contract of that size and length is completely unreasonable and unrealistic for what Ladd contributes. He is a great leader for the team, but Ladd isn’t worth that much and would be 36 years old by the time the deal ends. It would look awful once his point production begins to drop since he is averaging around 50 points a season. How many points will Ladd be putting up in three years or at the end of the six-year deal?
Winnipeg must be careful with how much they spend considering Dustin Byfuglien‘s contract is ending and he will also want a raise on top of the $5.2 million annual salary he has currently. Winnipeg will also need to sign Jacob Trouba and Mark Scheifele to their first contracts once their entry level deals expire in the summer. They may be able to get a deal signing Trouba and Scheifele, but that won’t be the case with Byfuglien.
Winnipeg’s best option is to trade Ladd at the NHL trade deadline, which will help the Jets moving forward.