IT is the kind of ringing endorsement that is expected, not an eyebrow-raising statement that will shake up the NHL neighbourhood.

And so when Winnipeg Jet captain Andrew Ladd offers his two thumbs up to the additions of free agents Olli Jokinen and Alexei Ponikarovsky, the cynics out there will insist it's the case of a man simply paying lip service to the moves made by the guys who sign his cheques.

But then there's this: Ladd, who played left wing on the club's top line with Bryan Little and Blake Wheeler, will readily admit there were long stretches last year when night after night his trio faced one checking line after another. And with the goals occasionally scarce, the Jets were essentially a one-line squad that was oh so easy to defend.