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Ladd won't rule out return to Jets: report

Free agent forward says he doesn't expect Blackhawks to have salary-cap room for him

NHL.com @NHL

Andrew Ladd said he likely won't return to the Chicago Blackhawks next season, but he has not ruled out the Winnipeg Jets, Sportsnet reported Wednesday.

Ladd, who was traded to the Blackhawks by the Jets on Feb. 25, said he is looking forward to his free agency, which begins July 1.

"[Former teammate Tanner Glass told me] it was chaos … free agency hits, you get all these offers and everyone wants an answer right then," Ladd told reporter Elliotte Friedman. "But it's changed with the (week-before negotiating) window. It's exciting to see what options will be available."

The 30-year-old forward said he did not expect the Blackhawks to be one of those options.

"When we spoke after the season, [Chicago] said it would be tough," Ladd said. "The likelihood is they don't have the (NHL salary cap) room to make it work. ... This weird feeling, the waiting game. It's new to me. I honestly don't know what will happen."

Ladd had eight goals and four assists in 19 regular-season games with the Blackhawks and one goal and one assist in seven Stanley Cup Playoff games. Ladd won the Stanley Cup in 2006 with the Carolina Hurricanes and in 2010 with the Blackhawks.

Ladd, the captain of the Jets for the past six seasons, had 139 goals and 305 points in 429 games with the Jets and Atlanta Thrashers. He said returning could be an option.

"I've said since I left [Winnipeg] I would never close the door," Ladd said. "We enjoyed our time there. We'll see if that's an option. It takes two willing combatants."

A British Columbia native, Ladd said signing with the Vancouver Canucks has "crossed his mind." He said one of his top priorities will be to join a team where he can try to win his third Stanley Cup.

"Can the family go somewhere where my wife and kids enjoy life?" Ladd said. "That's a big element. From my standpoint, I want to win and compete for a Cup."

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