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Ladd plans to play in Game 1

Thursday, 05.27.2010 / 6:26 PM / 2010 Stanley Cup Final - Blackhawks vs. Flyers

By Shawn P. Roarke - Senior Managing Editor

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Ladd plans to play in Game 1
CHICAGO Andrew Ladd saw up close when Carolina's Erik Cole came back from a broken neck in the 2006 Stanley Cup Final. So he is not too worried about his own ability to come back from injury for the 2010 Stanley Cup Final.

Ladd was injured in the fourth-game of Chicago's sweep of San Jose in the Western Conference Finals and could not finish the game. It is believed he suffered an upper-body injury after a first-period collision with Sharks defenseman Rob Blake.

He did not skate in Wednesday's practice, but said Thursday that he is shooting for a return for the start of the Stanley Cup Final against Philadelphia, which starts at the United Center Saturday (8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS). In fact, Ladd hopes that he will be able to give it a go in Friday morning's practice.

"We're going to see how I feel in the morning, and we're still working toward Saturday and it's kind of a day-by-day thing," Ladd said Thursday at the Stanley Cup Final Media Day at the United Center.

After playing back-to-back 82-game regular seasons, Ladd found it somewhat surreal to be out of the lineup when Chicago clinched its spot in this year's Final. But he did find his way down to the ice to celebrate with his teammates.

"It was tough not being out there and able to contribute," said Ladd, who has 2 goals and 1 assist this postseason. "It was weird being behind the scenes, but we got the job done and that is the main thing.

And, it is Cole's emotional return back in 2006 that keeps flashing back into Ladd's mind as he fights to come back and be a part of his second Stanley Cup Final in five years. Two weeks may seem like the blink of an eye to the outsider, but Ladd knows it provides plenty of time to heal for a hockey player intent on playing.

"I think you find that there are a lot of different scenarios and its pretty tough to keep a guy out a situation where you are playing for the Stanley Cup and all a guy wants to do is help," Ladd said.

Chicago coach Joel Quenneville is listing Ladd as day-to-day and says he should make an appearance in this series. But Ladd's teammates are even more positive.

"Nothing will keep him off the ice," said Dave Bolland, who shares checking-line duties with Ladd.

Quote of the Day

We're buyers. We're committed to winning. That's what [owner Vinnie Viola] has said all along and what we've said all along. We want to win. We want to win a championship. We're putting the pieces together, step by step, and we're hopeful that Jaromir can lead these young guys to the promised land. It's a win-win for us.

— Panthers GM Dale Tallon on Jaromir Jagr, who he traded for from the Devils on Thursday
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