Two-time Stanley Cup champion Andrew Ladd has retired from the National Hockey League (NHL) after an illustrious career of 16 years spanning 1001 games with seven different franchises.
Ladd officially announced the news through an extensive statement shared on his social media profiles on Sunday afternoon. He expressed gratitude towards all those who contributed to his career, including his family and the teams that afforded him the chance to compete at the highest level.
— Andrew Ladd (@aladd16) September 10, 2023
Drafted fourth overall by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2004 draft, Ladd is a 6-foot-3 winger with a career spanning 1,001 games. He boasts impressive stats, including 256 goals and 550 points, achieved through stints with seven different NHL teams. Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Atlanta Thrashers, Winnipeg Jets, New York Islanders, and Arizona Coyotes.
As a rookie, Ladd played a pivotal role in helping the Hurricanes secure their first Stanley Cup in 2006. In 2010, he played a crucial part in the Chicago Blackhawks winning their first Stanley Cup in 49 years.
Ladd’s journey continued as he was traded to the Atlanta Thrashers, later the Winnipeg Jets, before the 2010-11 season. During his six-season tenure with the franchise, he captained the team, leading them to their first playoff berth in 2015. Ladd’s career took a significant turn when he returned to the Blackhawks in 2016 for a Stanley Cup push but ended up hitting unrestricted free agency.
His ill-fated $5.5MM AAV contract with the New York Islanders marked a turning point. Despite a productive first season with 23 goals, his performance declined, and injuries from years of physical play took a toll. By 2019-20, he was primarily in the AHL and eventually traded to the Arizona Coyotes, where he reached 1,000 games. Sadly, he failed his physical last season, prematurely ending his career, one year before his contract’s expiration.
Andrew Ladd leaves behind a well-spent 16 years of hockey and a highly respected NHL career. The hurdles of injuries and obstacles ladened his path forward too many times but Ladd made sure he fought them off bravely — leaving a role model and icon to look upto.