The Nashville Predators could add a Free Agent to add scoring depth.
The Nashville Predators are in search of a missing piece to add to this young roster. To most within this organization, Nashville is only a player or two away from making, even more, history in the postseason next year. Andrew Ladd is an experienced left wing who could make a solid impact on this team.
The big thing to add to Ladd’s resume is that he’s won the Cup with two organizations in his career. One with the Hurricanes in 2006 with Peter Laviolette, and in 2010 with the Chicago Blackhawks. Another thing about this guy is consistency which is something the Preds will definitely need to have another good year and an even better playoff run. Really since the 2008-2009 season in Chicago, Ladd has shown consistent numbers during the regular season.
He’s had few 40 point and 50 point seasons including his first 60 point season in the 2014-2015 season. Andrew Ladd is a guy who will be getting a ton of phone calls this summer should the Predators be one of them?
What does he bring to Nashville
At 6’3″ and 200 pounds Andrew Ladd provides the frame of a solid two-way forward that The Nashville Predators could be interested in obtaining. He’s a guy who’s versatile which is very handy in this league. Ladd isn’t a high scoring forward like a James Neal or a Filip Forsberg, but he’s one of those guys that will go to the net and battle for position.
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When I talk about versatility here’s the prime example. He can play on powerplays and penalty kills, and as we all saw in the postseason special teams are key to moving on to the next round. Nashville didn’t have good powerplay numbers in the playoffs, and at times, the penalty kill looked solid but just not strong enough. Ladd is a guy who could add that experience to our special teams.
Let’s look at his stats from this year.
Ladd’s regular season stats in Winnipeg:
59 games, 17 goals, 17 assists, 34 points, minus -10 player rating, 39 penalty minutes, 7 powerplay goals, 9 powerplay points, and 143 shots on net
Ladd’s regular season stats in Chicago:
19 games, 8 goals, 4 assists, 12 points, minus -3 player rating, 6 penalty minutes, 3 powerplay goals, 5 powerplay points, and 38 shots on net
Ladd’s post season stats in Chicago:
7 games, 1 goal, 1 assists, 2 points, minus – player rating, 16 penalty minutes, 28 shots on net
Overall Ladd had a solid season both with Winnipeg and Chicago and has the type of play that can help any contending team get that extra push. I could absolutely see Ladd playing on the first line with James Neal and Ryan Johansen, and with his addition, it could really add something special to that line.
Aside from his offensive talent Andrew Ladd is physical. He’s a hard hitter, a guy who finishes his checks, and you’ll see him battle for puck possession around the boards. I like his physical play a lot, and I think that’s something Nashville will need to add to this team.
Leadership for a young roster like ours is important, and thankfully we have a solid group already with Shea Weber, Mike Fisher, James Neal, and Roman Josi. Ladd is a guy who could really add some extra leadership, especially during the playoffs. As a captain for the Jets, he helped lead that team to its first playoff appearance since the relocation from Atlanta to Winnipeg, and the first appearance of a Winnipeg team since 1996.
What will he cost?
Andrew Ladd was making about 4 million dollars this last year, and if I’m gonna be honest I’m pretty sure he could be making a bit more after this summer. Ladd is 30 years old and having already won the Cup twice it will be interesting to see how he decides to go this summer.
According to an article from the WInnigpeg Free Press in December, Ladd was said to be asking for a six-year deal worth at least $41 million. That is nearly $7 million a year. He couldn’t get that with Winnipeg but will he on the open market?
Could he be looking for a pay day with a team with the cap space or is he looking to join a contender? If he’s looking for a contender and he finds a team that fits his style and finds a good fit for the family then he could consider taking a little less. Nashville has always been boasted as a great place to raise a family. If he wants a contender over money then Nashville could be a new home for the Ladd family.
Would Ladd be a good fit?/ Should the Preds go get him?
To answer the first question I would say yes, Ladd is a good fit for this roster. If the Nashville Predators add him to the first line with Neal and Johansen, and they keep the Craig Smith, Mike Ribiero, and Filip Forsberg line then you have two great lines you can put out every night.
Should The Nashville Predators go get him? I’m not sure, to be honest. I like Ladd a lot, but it depends on David Poile and how he likes his left wings. You have Filip Forsberg, Colin Wilson, Viktor Arvidsson, Pontus Aberg, and then you have young Kevin Fiala from Milwaukee that will be competing for a spot next year too.
Unless Poile can get a good deal or really believes Ladd is the missing piece to the puzzle he may not want to mess with the left wing spots. He’s got a good group there and it may best to leave as is. Like I said I like Andrew Ladd and his game, but The Preds have a good group of forwards and some solid prospects coming up.