Andrew Ladd trade adds depth to Blackhawks roster

Photo Credit: Bill Smith/Getty Images

Photo Credit: Bill Smith/Getty Images

Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman presented to the country that the Chicago Blackhawks is in it to win it once again this season after acquiring former Winnipeg Jets captain Andrew Ladd.

Chicago knew they had to make a move and acquire a player who could play on the wing with Marian Hossa out temporarily.

With the addition of Ladd, the 30-year-old adds depth to an already impressive Blackhawks roster.

Many believed coming into the season that Chicago’s first line would be one of the best in the league – a line that included Jonathan Toews, Andrew Shaw and Marian Hossa.

But that has not been the case.

Chicago’s second line consisting of Patrick Kane, Artem Anisimov and Artemi Panarin has arguably been the best line in all of hockey. Kane is having a career year posting 85 total points with 49 assists and a career high 36 goals, according to NHL.com – Panarin leads all rookies in scoring with 57 total points scoring 22 goals and 35 assists, according to NHL.com – and Anisimov, who came over in the Brandon Saad trade, has been phenomenal at the center position scoring 18 goals and 16 assists, according to NHL.com

So with Ladd back in Chicago, he fits in nicely on the first line playing along side Jonathan Toews and Andrew Shaw. But once Hossa comes back, it looks like Shaw will move down to the fourth line and help contribute down there.

But before Bowman made the trade for Ladd, Chicago did not look like the team we had seen prior in the season. Through the first couple months of the season, Chicago was playing consistent hockey. They were winning a lot of games and not losing many in a row. The only time Chicago lost three in a row was back in late November and into December when they lost three in a row, two in overtime.

Chicago began the month of February out of the All-Star break on fire winning three in a row, all on the road. But there next three games, all at home, they ended up losing, falling to the San Jose Sharks, Dallas Stars and Anaheim Ducks.

Like I said in my previous story, Stan Bowman is notorious for making fantastic moves prior to the trade deadline. We saw that last season when Bowman acquired Kimmo Timonen, Antoine Vermette and Andrew Desjardins.

This season, Bowman got the most sought after player on the trade block – that being Andrew Ladd.

Ladd isn’t just bring great leadership, he is bringing life and energy back to this Blackhawks team.

Before being traded back to Chicago, the Blackhawks lost two games in a row, putting up a poorly performance on national television in the outdoor Stadium Series game against the Minnesota Wild – which they lost 6-1. Three days later, they lost at home to the Nashville Predators 3-1.

With the team in a funk, the addition of Andrew Ladd was just what the doctor ordered for this team.

In his first game back in a Blackhawks uniform, the scene at the United Center was electric. They were hosting Alexander Ovechkin and the first place Washington Capitals, a potential series we might see in June, and it was the first time since 2010 that Blackhawks fans got to see Ladd play again in a Blackhawks jersey.

Chicago won 3-2 and Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford said the atmosphere inside of the United Center felt like a playoff-type game.

With the familiarity of the team, playing for coach Joel Quenneville along with Toews, Kane, Duncan Keith, Marian Hossa, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Brent Seabrook, this seemed like the perfect move for the Blackhawks. Fans and now fellow teammates are excited to see Ladd back and are eager to see him help this talented Blackhawks team do something they have yet to accomplish – winning back-to-back Stanley Cups.

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