Andrew Ladd has signed with the New York Islanders, according to multiple reports He was in New York on Friday touring the Islanders' facilities, and several reports even before the official signing window opened at noon had him agreeing to a seven-year contract. Sportsnet pegged it at an average of $5.5 million per season.
The winger's addition at age 30 comes in contrast to the departure of longtime Islanders winger Kyle Okposo at age 28:
While Ladd brings similar versatility as Okposo albeit at lesser degrees, he also comes at a cheaper price and with some of the proverbial "intangibles" the Islanders have sought to add from outside their long, close-knit family: Experience in several long playoff runs that produced Stanley Cup victories as a rookie with the Hurricanes (and Islanders assistant coach Doug Weight) and in the middle of his career with the Blackhawks.
As far as seeing Okposo allowed to walk and replaced by Ladd, I'm reminded of the St. Louis Blues' decision to part with TJ Oshie in exchange for Troy Brouwer, a decision that also came from a mix of salary cap and "player type" considerations.
After becoming a casualty of Chicago's first post-Cup purge, Ladd's most recent period was as captain of the Winnipeg Jets since their relocation from Atlanta.
These days, Ladd is still a good player. He's been a positive possession player his whole career, and he will add something to the Islanders lineup -- and, true, probably "in the room" as well. But he's not a top-line scorer and he shouldn't be sold as any kind of elite scorer to pair with John Tavares.
The Islanders sought such scorer this week, but opportunities are scarce.
So now a great, scary new era begins: The Islanders were not good enough last season and needed changes. This is one of them.