The Winnipeg Jets have locked up Andrew Ladd – the team captain and leading scorer – to a new contract.
The club announced the deal this afternoon for the 25-year-old winger, who had career highs in goals (29) and points (59) while leading the Atlanta Thrashers. TSN is reporting the deal covers five years and is worth $22 million, including $5 million in 2011-12 and $4.5 million in the remaining four years.
Ladd said he was relieved to get the deal done and switch his focus to hockey.
"Definitely. The fact that I have so much going on, along with the other guys, but I have a wedding coming up (July 17 in Las Vegas) in a couple of weeks, I’ve got to find a place in Winnipeg and move all my stuff from Atlanta up to Winnipeg... it’s nice to have this over with and now we can focus on moving on," Ladd said.
Ladd visited Winnipeg and the Jets' brass a month ago, and he saw several things that made him want to commit long term.
"It’s the way Craig Heisinger, Mark Chipman and Chevy (Kevin Cheveldayoff) made me feel welcome and how they showed me they were going to run things and the atmosphere," Ladd said. "When you walked into the building, everyone that worked there was raring to go and it seemed like the were doing everything first class and I’m sure they will. For me, that’s a big part of a successful organization."
Ladd also said he wasn't worried about the arbitration deadline.
"I think both sides were pretty confident in getting it done. I appreciate the effort they made to not only give me a long-term deal but to get it done as quickly as possible and wanting to get it done right away. As a player, that’s exciting and I appreciated that."
Below is the press release:
WINNIPEG JETS AGREE TO TERMS WITH ANDREW LADD
The Winnipeg Jets are pleased to announce they have agreed to terms with left wing Andrew Ladd on a new contract. As per club policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Ladd, 25, posted career highs in goals and points with the Atlanta Thrashers in 2010-11 recording 29 goals and 59 points in 81 games. The Maple Ridge, BC native was named captain of the Thrashers on November 18, 2010. Ladd joined the Thrashers after a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks on July 1, 2010, in exchange for defenceman Ivan Vishnevskiy and a second-round pick in 2011 which the Blackhawks used to select defenceman Adam Clendening.
Ladd has won the Stanley Cup twice in his career, winning his first as a rookie with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006 when he scored five points (2g, 3a) in 17 playoff games. He won the Stanley Cup again with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010, recording six points (3g, 3a) in 19 playoff games. Ladd won a gold medal at the 2005 World Junior Championships when Team Canada won the tournament in Grand Forks, ND.
In 402 career NHL games with Carolina, Chicago, and Atlanta, Ladd has recorded 208 points (92g, 116a) and 219 penalty minutes in 402 games played. Ladd was originally drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes in the first round, fourth overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.
Andrew Ladd was in Winnipeg on June 9 to meet with media. Watch the scrum below: