With the NHL trade deadline fast approaching, Winnipeg Jets star Andrew Ladd has become the top target for contending teams.
Ladd and the Jets have reportedly discussed a contract extension this season, but with the trade deadline just one week away, Winnipeg may consider a trade with their captain if a new deal is not agreed on. According to Gary Lawless at TSN, the team has been receiving some significant interest in Ladd, including an offer that has a first-round pick and a prospect as part of the deal.
Lawless reports that "it's believed at least one team has made an offer" with significant pieces, and that general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff "has a list of teams" calling about Ladd. Lawless writes that the Chicago Blackhawks, Anaheim Ducks, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, Florida Panthers and Los Angeles Kings "are believed to have interest" in Ladd.
Last week Lawless reported that the Jets wanted to make a "final push" to try and re-sign Ladd before making a trade at the deadline. TSN reports that an NHL executive said that the Jets have to tread carefully as the deadline gets close, as the "market can work in your favour and get you a high price. But it can also collapse on you." Ladd is considered to be the top "rental" on the trade market, as he is heading towards free agency and may not end up signing with the team that trades for him (if a team trades for him, of course).
Ladd is a prime target at the deadline due to his leadership experience as a captain, and the fact that he has a Stanley Cup ring. Ladd has been a productive player this season as well, putting up 33 points in 58 games played, including 16 goals and 17 assists.
The trade deadline is Feb. 29 at 3 pm ET.