With the season now over after a return to the playoffs and the Western Conference Finals, we're looking back at each player who wore the Indian Head sweater for the 08-09 Season and grading their performance. Continuing with the forwards, the man who might just get me to forget about Ruutu, Andrew Ladd
#16 / Left Wing / Chicago Blackhawks
Dec 12, 1985
Contract Status: Signed thru 09-10 - 1.55M Cap Hit
|2008 - Andrew Ladd||82||15||34||49||26||28||0||0||2||0||195||7.7|
The Good: Career high in goals, career high in assists, career high +/-... of course, those are all benefited by a career high in games played for a season.. But that's good too, right?
But wait, there's more. According to Behind The Net - Ladd played against the best quality of competition, not just for the team, but for the entire damn league (for all players that played more than 10 games, that is). It shouldn't be a surprise then to learn that Ladd also had the highest behind the net rating for the team. Impressive, no?
There's a lot to like in Ladd's season. The move to put Havlat on a line with Ladd and Bolland raised a few eyebrows. Was Havlat being punished for something by being put on a "checking" line? I can't remember that far back in the season (and I'm too lazy right now to do any research) so I can't remember if Havlat needed a spark. But Q certainly got something special with the line. It was one of the Hawks most consistent and complete lines for most of the year. As part of the line Ladd offered a solid defensive forward role while still offereing a solid scoring touch. I also handed Ladd the team Selke award, though his linemate Bolland wasn't far behind. He was causing turnovers (43 takeaways), hitting people (117), planting himself in front of the net and doing everything else you could ask from him.
A great year for Laddy.
The Bad: I honestly have a hard time coming up with much bad for Ladd's season. Sam thinks he can score more goals, which is probably true, but not something I really hold against him. He's doing just about everything right, he's only 23 with tons of room to grow and he's already got his name on the cup. The bad might be that he's make me feel like a worthless schmuck.
You guys got anything bad about Ladd? Feel free to share it in the comments.
Playoff Beard Strength: One of the better beards on the team. Just another thing to like about Ladd for the team.
Nicknames: One third of the D. Ladd Soul line (guess which part), Mountain, Nails
Related Photoshops: Not a photoshop per se but there was this:
The Grade: Probably not a shocker that I'm going to go with an A for Ladd. He was solid all year long and come playoffs, he was a force. His points per game dropped a fair bit (.60 in the regular season, .24 in the playoffs) but that comes with playing better teams and focusing on your defensive role. Tell us what you think in the comments.