The Winnipeg Jets have avoided salary arbitration with forward Andrew Ladd, agreeing to a five-year, $22 million contract with their captain before the 5pm et deadline to file.
The deal will pay Ladd $4 million next season and $4.5 million in each of the following four seasons.
"I'm getting married July 17 in Las Vegas," Ladd said Tuesday. "It's exciting -- now we can kind of let this all go by and start focusing on that and get excited about that big day."
Ladd, 25, posted career highs in goals and points with the Atlanta Thrashers in 2010-11 recording 29 goals and 59 points in 81 games. The Maple Ridge, BC native was named captain of the Thrashers on November 18, 2010. Ladd joined the Thrashers after a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks on July 1, 2010, in exchange for defenceman Ivan Vishnevskiy and a second-round pick in 2011 which the Blackhawks used to select defenceman Adam Clendening.
"The last year's been pretty exciting for me in terms of the different role that I was given," said Ladd. "To be one of the leaders with that organization and the opportunity to play more and be in more situations (was nice).
"It seems like it's going in the right direction for me and I'm looking forward to keeping that challenge up."
Ladd has won the Stanley Cup twice in his career, winning his first as a rookie with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006 when he scored five points in 17 playoff games. He won the Stanley Cup again with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010, recording six points in 19 playoff games. Ladd also won a gold medal at the 2005 World Junior Championships when Team Canada won the tournament in Grand Forks, ND.
In 402 career NHL games with Carolina, Chicago, and Atlanta, Ladd has recorded 208 points and 219 penalty minutes in 402 games played. Ladd was originally drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes in the first round, fourth overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.