Report: Jets break off contract talks with Ladd, shift focus to Byfuglien
Andrew Ladd's future may not be with the Winnipeg Jets, after all.
The captain's agents have broken off talks with the club and Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff was recently seen meeting with the representative for defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, reports TSN's Gary Lawless.
The Jets haven't held meaningful discussions with Ladd for some time and are shifting their focus to re-signing Byfuglien, according to the report. Both players are pending unrestricted free agents.
Ladd is earning $4.4 million in the final year of his contract, while Byfuglien is making $5.2 million in the last season of his deal.
Last month, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported the Jets and Ladd's camp had agreed on a six-year term, but the two sides were still apart on salary by less than $1 million.
The 30-year-old posted a career-high 62 points in 81 games last season, but has struggled to maintain that pace this time around, with 27 points in 48 contests.
The Jets have lost three games in a row and seven of their last 10, slipping ever closer to the NHL's basement at 21-24-3. Only the Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Buffalo Sabres, and Columbus Blue Jackets have worse records than Winnipeg, with 35 days remaining until the trade deadline.