Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Andrew Ladd and Jets Teammates Try to Ignore Trade Talk as NHL Deadline Looms

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Andrew Ladd and Jets Teammates Try to Ignore Trade Talk as NHL Deadline Looms

Article excerpt

Ladd, Jets teammates try to ignore trade talk

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WINNIPEG - Andrew Ladd isn't just the captain of the Winnipeg Jets, he's also a friend to his teammates.

And it's those friends that understand the personal toll trade rumours can have on a player and his family.

With the NHL's Feb. 29 trade deadline looming and defenceman Dustin Byfuglien signing a five-year contract extension with the Jets last week, the spotlight on Ladd's future has become more intense.

The Internet is full of fans' comments that this should be done or that should be done, almost treating the pending unrestricted free agent as though he's a game piece in Monopoly.

"I understand that perspective," Jets centre Bryan Little said before the team headed out Friday for a four-game road trip. "They're fans, they watch the games.

"I think sometimes it's easy to overlook that we are friends, we are a pretty close-knit group. I mean, we're with each other every day for nine months of the year. You get pretty close to these guys."

Little and Ladd have been friends for six years and spend time together with their families, but Ladd's contract situation isn't a big topic of conversation.

"We don't really talk about it that much, kind of let his agents and the team handle it," Little said. "We do realize it's a business. I've had a lot of good friends that have moved on.

"Right now, he's my teammate and he's still here so we kind of don't talk about it much."

Ladd's wife, Brandy, is pregnant with their third child. It's something Ladd mentioned on a TSN 1290 radio show Friday when asked if his contract status makes it hard for him to concentrate on the ice.

"I think it's kind of being in limbo and not knowing what's going on, that's the toughest part on you and knowing it affects obviously more than just me in terms of my wife and my kids and all that good stuff," Ladd said.

"My wife's pregnant so there's kind of lots of things that go into it. So, yeah, it weighs on you a little bit, but at the end of the day it's your job to be a professional and make sure that you get the job done on the ice. …

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