Each day until July 1, the day free agency begins, CSNPhilly.com producers Tom Dougherty, Jordan Hall and Greg Paone will profile some of the NHL's top impending free agents and project their likelihood of signing with the Flyers.
Andrew Ladd, left wing
Last team: Chicago Blackhawks
2015-16 cap hit: $4.4 million
The No. 4 overall pick in 2004 by the Carolina Hurricanes, Ladd has won two Stanley Cups, one with Carolina in 2006 and one with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010.
Ladd used a dominant rookie season in the WHL with the Calgary Hitmen in 2003-04 to elevate himself into a top-5 pick, and has built a reputation of being a leader in the NHL.
An 11-year veteran, Ladd has played for three teams and captained the Winnipeg Jets’ franchise from 2010 when it was still in Atlanta until last season, when the Jets traded him back to the Blackhawks before the trade deadline for Chicago’s postseason run.
He first broke into the NHL during the 2005-06 season, his first year of professional hockey, which he began in the AHL. His call-up came in November, but a knee injury suffered in December kept him out until February when he went back to the AHL.
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In March 2006, Carolina brought him back up for its postseason run, and Ladd contributed five points in 17 playoff games as the ‘Canes won their only Stanley Cup.
Carolina traded Ladd to Chicago at the trade deadline of the 2007-08 season, where the winger spent the next three seasons. In 2008-09, he scored 15 goals in 82 games.
With the Blackhawks in 2009-10, Ladd added 17 goals in the regular season and six points in the playoffs, but made his mark with five points in the Final against the Flyers.
Because of cap restraints, Chicago traded Ladd to Atlanta that offseason, where his career took off. He potted a career-high 29 goals in his first season with the Thrashers.
Ladd’s best season came in 2014-15, when he registered career-highs in assists (38) and points (62). He had 17 goals and 17 assists with the Jets last season in 59 games before Winnipeg sent him back to Chicago, where he had eight goals in 19 games.
He had two points for the Blackhawks, who were bounced by the St. Louis Blues in the Western Conference quarterfinals in seven games.
In terms of fit, Ladd would be a nice complementary piece for the Flyers.
Ladd, 30, possesses a solid two-way game and isn’t afraid to throw his body around. He’s a big winger who can score and would complement Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek well. If not on the top line, he’d be a healthy supplement on the second line.
Because the Flyers are looking for a winger with size, Ladd could be someone on general manager Ron Hextall’s radar come Friday, but it comes down to financial fit.
The Flyers have less than $12 million in cap space, according to generalfanager.com, and still have to re-sign Brayden Schenn to a healthy raise as well as a few others. Hextall would also like to have $2 million reserve in space for the season (see story).
We have to figure Ladd will cost somewhere between $4.5 million and $5 million. Can Hextall fit that on the books without moving another piece? I don’t know.
It might be tough to squeeze Ladd in cap-wise, but he would fit well here in terms of what the Flyers are looking for — a big, scoring winger.