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This article was published 25/1/2016 (1736 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Andrew Ladd is a member in good standing with the Winnipeg Jets today and expects to be so tomorrow.
But between now and the National Hockey League’s Feb. 29 trade deadline, Ladd will continue to be the subject of rumours and speculation until he puts his name on a new deal with the Jets, slips on a new jersey after being dealt or, if neither of those possibilities unfold soon, he becomes an unrestricted free agent July 1.
Ladd’s future with the team came into the spotlight again Monday after weekend reports suggested the team has turned its attention to negotiating a new deal with Dustin Byfuglien while talks with the captain had "broken off."
"I don’t think anything’s changed really, either way. Nothing’s changed," Ladd said. "Listen, there’s a lot of guys going through the exact same thing. I’m not the only one in this situation. That’s part of the game. It’s something, obviously, we’ve been dealing with, but at the same time your focus is on hockey and trying to win hockey games.
"I think if you ask both sides, both sides would have hoped to have something done by now. But that’s part of the business and the game, too. It’s something you deal with and keep working at it."
Reached via email Monday afternoon, Ladd’s agent, J.P. Barry, told the Free Press:
"I’m not sure where this "broken off" description came from. We had extensive negotiations last summer and into the fall. Since then we have discussed the situation but we haven’t made any significant progress on finalizing a contract yet."
Ladd is in the final year of his current contract with the Jets that pays him US$4.5 million. It is believed the 29-year-old is seeking a deal over five or six years worth around US$6-6.5 million per season. He denied the ongoing contract situation had affected the way he has played this season and when asked if it is difficult to be effective as a leader when his future with the club is uncertain, said:
"No. I’m pretty sure I’ll be here tomorrow. It doesn’t affect anything we’re trying to do in here. We’re motivated to try and get back in this race and get things going the right way."
Ladd said he’d still like to sign with the Jets long term, a stance he’s taken on the two other times he’s chosen to speak publicly on the state of negotiations since the season opened. But as much as he’s taken the "it’s-just-business" approach, it’s clear both the man wearing the C and the team currently employing him would like some clarity on things ASAP.
"Listen, anybody in this situation, obviously the easiest thing to have happen would be to get something done and understand where you’re going to be, for you and your family," said Ladd. "That’s ideal, that’s not how it happens every year. Like I said, I’m not the only one going through this process. A lot of guys around the league do it year to year."
Finally, when Ladd was asked if he’d be surprised if he was with another team after the trade deadline, he added:
"I think so. At this time it’s hard for me to see that. But I’ve also been around long enough to realize that anything can happen and things change quickly. You never know."
Updated on Monday, January 25, 2016 at 11:24 PM CST: writethrough
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