Pittsburgh Penguins: Will They Trade For Andrew Ladd?


As the NHL trade deadline approaches on February 29, 2016, one of the players that most contending teams, including the Pittsburgh Penguins, will have their eyes on is forward Andrew Ladd.

With the Pittsburgh Penguins making their push for a playoff position, they most certainly will be keeping the pulse of the trade market, and players that might be termed “rentals”.  Rental players come about as their contracts will be expiring in the summer, their current teams may not have the resources or strategy to re-sign them, but the player definitely has the skill and ability to help a team through the playoffs.  Of the current stock of unrestricted free agent forwards to-be, Andrew Ladd is at the top of the list.

Ladd’s current team, the Winnipeg Jets, are at the bottom of the Central Division and won’t be making moves to reach the playoffs this season.  Their sights will be set on a future season’s playoff picture.  As such, they will most likely be looking for prospects and draft picks in return for Andrew Ladd.

The Penguins on the other hand are squarely in the mix of this season’s playoff contenders.  They do need to make that extra push to ensure they have a spot, most likely a Wild Card spot, and that they can advance through the playoffs.

Ladd has the skill to help any team, no doubt.  He’s a top-six forward.  In 58 games this season, he has 33 points (16 goals, 17 assists).

The question for the Penguins is:  do they need another top-six forward to help them this season?  Right now, I’m thinking the answer to that question is no.  Reason being that they’ve been clicking well on offense this year, and it’s largely been without three of their top centermen in Evgeni Malkin, Eric Fehr and Nick Bonino.  Add those boys back into the mix, and who knows how good the offense will be?

And who would you remove from the lineup?  Sure, you could send Carl Hagelin to the third or fourth line.  But how much will that improve the team?  The young guys have started to play well, and I don’t know that sending Scott Wilson or Tom Kuhnhackl to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is going to give us a better shot at the playoffs.  The only thing you could say there is that Carl Hagelin has quite a bit of playoff experience from his time with the New York Rangers, and could be a positive influence on the third line. 

We need to keep in mind also that the Jets will be looking for prospects and draft picks in return for Ladd.  Do we really want to mortgage the future of our team in return for a player that would only be under contract for a matter of months?  That tactic hasn’t really worked out well in the recent past.

If I’m in GM Jim Rutherford‘s shoes right now, I’m certainly keeping my eyes and ears open with respect to the trade market, and how I could reasonably improve my team, both now and for the future.  I wouldn’t want to make any moves that force me to give up early round draft picks, or more importantly, top prospects currently in our system.  And with the amount of teams competing for Ladd’s services as the trade deadline approaches, that means that the Penguins and I are most likely passing on the services of Andrew Ladd for the remainder of this season.

What do you say Penguins fans?