“He actually really wants to stay in Winnipeg,” NHL insider Chris Johnston said Thursday on Sportsnet.
“There was a lot of work that went into it — from the draft (last) June until Christmas time — on contract negotiations. And what I’ve been told they were very close to getting a deal done.”
Ladd is in the final year of his contract and scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2015-16 season.
According to Johnston, Ladd is seeking a deal that is worth more than $6 million per season and that has been a bit of a sticking point as the two sides have already agreed on a six-year term.
“I still believe he is open to making a deal there,” he said. “I think the Jets are maybe re-evaluating their situation with (Dustin) Byfuglien now fit in. And I think there’s a very good chance he signs a deal.”
The Jets have reportedly kept communication open with Ladd, and the club is expected to make a decision on his future prior to the deadline.
“There’s probably either a deal [contract extension] to be had or a trade to be made,” Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said Thursday on a guest appearance on Hockey Central at Noon. “We’ll look at all those situations as they present themselves.”
Ladd has 13 goals and 17 assists in 53 games this season. He is a minus player (-9) for the first time in four years.