With Charles Wang relinquishing control of the Islanders today to new ownership, no one knew if the Islanders would be able to compete in free agency.
After all, new owners Jon Ledicky and Scott Malkin are virtual unknowns and frankly could have played it conservatively, since they controlled the team for less than 24 hours.
However with Frans Neilson and Kyle Okposo moving on to Detroit and Buffalo, respectively, general manager Garth Snow, who got a vote of confidence from the new owners today, signed Andrew Ladd and Jason Chimera as their replacements.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to play with a team that has such great potential,” Ladd said. “The Islanders have high-end, young talent and state-of-the art facilities on Long Island and in Brooklyn, which made this the best choice for me. After visiting the area and meeting with coaches and management, it became clear to me and my family that this franchise was the perfect fit for the next seven years.”
Ladd scored 25 goals, 21 assists, splitting time between the Winnipeg Jets and Chicago Blackhawks last season. Ladd won the Stanley Cup in 2006 with Carolina and in 2010 with Chicago. He’s scored 18 points (nine goals, nine assists) in 64 career Stanley Cup Playoff games. Ladd was nominated for the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award in 2014-15; the same award Islanders Captain John Tavares was nominated for this past season.
Ladd signed a seven-year deal to play in Brooklyn.
Chimera, meanwhile, comes with only a two-year contract after a season in Washington that saw him score 20 goals, 20 assists.
The 37 year-old has played 951 career NHL games with the Edmonton Oilers, Columbus Blue Jackets and Washington, Chimera has scored 369 points (163 goals, 206 assists). He’s also scored 29 points (12 goals, 17 assists) in 69 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
The Islander bid farewell to Okposo, who signed a seven-year deal with the Sabres, while Neilson inked for six-years with the Red Wings.