Andrew Ladd, a veteran of 1,001 NHL games, has announced his retirement from professional hockey.
The 37-year-old made the announcement on X, formerly known as Twitter, this past Sunday.
“The time has come for my next chapter,” he wrote. “When I was a kid I never thought I had a chance to make a living playing hockey. There was love for the game. I loved being part of a team. I loved competing, I loved the next chance to win, I loved the challenge, I loved the escape of immersing myself in the moment, I loved the feeling of belonging, I loved the confidence it gave me, I loved proving people wrong.”
Reflecting Back on Ladd’s Career
While he didn’t live up to the hype of the 4th overall pick in 2004 when he was drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes, he quickly turned it around when he arrived with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2008-09, with 49 points in his first crack as a top-six forward. But it was his trade to the Atlanta Thrashers where he truly rose to prominence.
He immediately was named their captain and made his mark, with 29 goals and 59 points, which kickstarted a run of seven straight seasons where he scored 20 goals or at a pace where he was set to make at least that many goals. It carried over to when the Thrashers relocated to Winnipeg to become the second coming of the Jets, and in his last full season there, he had a career-high 62 points. He also represented Canada in three IIHF Men’s World Championships and the 2005 World Juniors, the latter where Canada won gold.
He came back to the Blackhawks for their 2016 playoff run, but the team suffered a first round exit and he hit free agency, where he signed a seven-year, $38.5 million contract with the New York Islanders. While he managed 23 goals in his first year with them, his production dipped year after year, with the goal total dropping to 12 in his second year, and then eventually finding himself outside of the team’s plans by the 2018-19 season. His years of physical play took its toll on his body, and he could only manage blips of availability, even in his final years in the league when he was on the Arizona Coyotes.
He finishes his career with 256 career goals and 550 points through 16 seasons, adding nine goals and nine assists for 18 points in 65 playoff games. We at Shady Sports Network wish all the best to him in his next adventure on what lies ahead.
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