The Winnipeg Jets may consider dealing captain Andrew Ladd ay the trade deadline this year, and the Chicago Blackhawks could be a fit for the star winger.
The trade deadline is less than a week away, leaving the Jets in a tough situation when it comes to Ladd. The captain of the Jets will be a free agent after this season, and if Winnipeg can't agree on a new contract with Ladd before the deadline, the team may decide to trade the winger. According to Gary Lawless at TSN, Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff has been receiving strong interest in Ladd from contending teams.
Lawless writes that the Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, Anaheim Ducks, Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins and Los Angeles Kings "are believed to have interest" in Ladd. TSN is reporting that "at least one team has made an offer of a first-round pick plus a prospect" for Ladd, which would be a nice haul for a 30-year-old player on the cusp of free agency.
An unnamed NHL executive spoke to Lawless and said that the Jets need to work carefully as they try and deal Ladd, as the "market can work in your favour and get you a high price. But it can also collapse on you." According to the Winnipeg Sun, the Jets made one more strong push to sign Ladd to a contract extension last week, but things did not materialize with a new deal.
If Ladd is traded, the Blackhawks could be one of the prime targets. The team is coming off of a Stanley Cup win last season, and Ladd has experience with the club after playing for them from 2007-2009. Kevin Allen at USA Today writes that the Blackhawks are expected to be buyers at the trade deadline, and Ladd could be "on their radar" after dealing with an injury to Marian Hossa.
Allen writes that GM Stan Bowman is not "afraid to act boldly" and could go after Ladd. Earlier in the month Jay Zawaski at CBS Chicago wrote that adding Ladd would "plug" the "holes" that the Blackhawks have had this season.
The NHL trade deadline is Feb. 29 at 3 pm ET. The clock is ticking.