Winnipeg Jets’ captain Andrew Ladd has pulled the pin on his exodus to the Kontinental Hockey League.
The Avangard Omsk Hawks of the KHL announced earlier today that Ladd would be joining their club, based in Omsk, in the southwestern part of Siberia. But Ladd has since had a change of heart because of personal reasons and will remain here in Winnipeg.
"It’s all happened so quick," Ladd told the Free Press Thursday afternoon. "I was talking to (the KHL team) and they kept asking, ‘We need to know…’ and so we did it. But the more we thought about it, the more I decided to change my mind. My wife Brandy is pregnant and I couldn’t really justify leaving her by herself. The more I thought about it, the more I thought I didn’t want to leave.
"I feel bad for the team. They were really good to me and have given me the opportunity to play. At first I thought it was a good chance to play in the best league going right now. But after thinking about it, it wasn’t the right decision. It’s something I went back and forth with for the last couple of days. I wasn’t sure how long that opportunity was going to be out there so I first decided to take it. This now makes more sense."
The baby will be the Ladd’s first.
A number of NHL players, locked out since Sept. 15, have been finding work in the KHL and in pro leagues in Sweden, Finland, Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic. Ladd would have been the second Canadian-born Jet to head to the KHL after teammate Evander Kane signed with Dinamo Minsk last weekend. Alex Ponikarovsky is with Donbass Donestk while Nik Antropov is playing with Barys Astana.