The moves keep rolling in as the expansion draft trade freeze sets in across the NHL.
The New York Islanders paid a premium in order to open up some significant cap relief for themselves on Saturday afternoon, dealing forward, Andrew Ladd to the Arizona Coyotes along with a 2021 second-round pick, a conditional 2022 second-round pick, and a conditional 2023 third-round pick in exchange for no return.
According to Newsday’s Andrew Gross, there are no assets coming back the Islanders’ way.
Getting out from under Ladd’s massive cap hit without retaining salary is a definite win for Lou Lamoriello and the Islanders, albeit one that comes at a serious cost. Thanks in large part to injuries and rapidly declining play, Ladd’s seven-year, $38.5 million contract, signed in 2016, has become one of the more onerous in the entire league recently, with the Islanders ultimately opting to bury the veteran winger in the AHL for the majority of the past three seasons.
At a $5.5 million cap hit until 2023, that is a truly disastrous situation.
So ineffective has Ladd been since arriving on Long Island that he failed to crack the Islanders lineup altogether in 2021 after suiti g up in just four games the year prior. The 35-year-old has been less-than-productive in the instances when he has donned an Islanders uniform, racking up a combined 12 points in 30 NHL games since 2018, with 12 points in 47 AHL games to go with it.
The Coyotes, however, reportedly intend to use Ladd on their big league roster next season, with Sportsnet’s David Amber reporting that Arizona values his veteran experience. With Ladd’s signing bonus having already been paid, the Coyotes owe him just $1 million in actual salary this year, which seems to align with the team’s budget-strict method of operation.
Armed with newly acquired cap space, Lamoriello is likely to be one of the league’s busiest general managers in the coming weeks.