Andrew Ladd is No. 16 for the Chicago Blackhawks once again.
While there was some mystery as to which number Ladd would wear in his return to the Hawks after a trade from the Winnipeg Jets, the team announced Friday that Marcus Kruger will give up No. 16 so Ladd can continue playing under his longtime number. Kruger is now No. 22.
Ladd, currently in his 11th NHL season, has never worn any number other than 16. That includes his three-year stint with the Blackhawks from 2007-10, when he was a key player during Chicago's rise in the Western Conference. The Hawks traded Ladd in 2010 after winning their first Stanley Cup in 49 years.
Kruger, 25, has worn No. 16 his entire six-year NHL career.
Now Ladd is back for another Cup run following the trade with Winnipeg, which saw the Hawks pay a heavy price by moving top prospect Marko Dano, a 2016 first-round pick and a conditional pick in the 2018 draft. Luckily, everyone appears pretty excited about the addition.
Ladd is expected to make his debut with the team Sunday against the Washington Capitals. Kruger remains sidelined due to a wrist injury and still isn't expected to be ready until the playoffs.
"I'm going to have to do something. Very classy move on his part," Ladd said during an interview on CSN Chicago's SportsTalk Live. "I really wasn't expecting it. I was planning on picking a different number, but he offered so that was very nice of him. And from what I hear, he's a great guy, great teammate and I'm looking forward to meeting him. I'll have to do something special for him."