Ladd Expected to Play in Stanley Cup Finals
So there really isn't much news here... other than that Andrew Ladd is "expected" to play. Notice that doesn't necessarily mean that he'll be in Game 1. Even reporters who were interviewing the Hawks after practice today had differing reports on his return. Brett Ballantini sent a message on twitter saying Q didn't specify when he'd return. Meanwhile, Tim Sassone says Ladd will be OK to play in Saturday's opener.
Does "ok to play" mean the same thing as "he will play"? I'm not sure. The ESPN article mentions that Tomas Kopecky (who will also be getting ice time according to Q) was skating with Dave Bolland and Kris Versteeg, meaning we may have to wait 15 years for a reunion tour from everyone's favorite band "Sharpie and the Slovaks".
Ladd only has two goals and an assist so far in the playoffs but has brought a great physical presence so far. The only other forward with more hits so far is Byfuglien. Along with Bolland, Ladd is a key component to the shut down line that kept the Sedins and Thornton's line in check. Kopecky isn't a horrible fill-in for Ladd if needed though.