It appears as though Andrew Ladd’s career may be coming to an end, as Craig Morgan of PHNX Sports reports that the veteran forward has failed his physical due to lingering knee issues. He will be placed on injured reserve, which has a much greater impact than just taking him out of the lineup.
When the Arizona Coyotes agreed to take on Ladd’s contract from the New York Islanders in the summer of 2021, the trade included some very interesting conditions. Basically, if this exact scenario happened – Ladd still under contract for 2022-23, but not able to play – the Islanders would owe the Coyotes a 2023 third-round selection. If the veteran forward retired prior to this season or played even a single game, the pick wouldn’t be transferred.
The trade already brought two second-round picks to Arizona, one of which was used on overaged defenseman J.J. Moser, who stepped almost directly into the Coyotes lineup after being picked 60th overall in 2021. Moser had 15 points in 43 games while averaging nearly 19 minutes a night and figures to be a key building block for Arizona moving forward. Ladd himself even provided some valuable minutes, scoring seven goals and 12 points in 51 games last season after an impressive comeback.
Adding another third-round pick to the deal, while giving up nothing but money, certainly seems like a pretty nice haul for the Coyotes, who have collected draft picks better than any team in the league. Over the next three years, Arizona now holds 19 picks in the first three rounds alone. That’s after they picked three times in this year’s first round, twice in the second, and twice in the third.
If it is the end for Ladd, it comes after making it to an impressive milestone at the end of last season. The 36-year-old has played in 1,001 regular season games, scoring 256 goals and 550 points. He raised the Stanley Cup in both 2006 and 2010, first with the Carolina Hurricanes and then with the Chicago Blackhawks.