For now, Gabe Landeskog is still a member of the Avalanche. He is still the captain of the team, still the voice of reason, still an extension of the coaching staff and front office, and a friend to all.
The Landeskog expansion doesn’t agree with the Seattle Kraken, who have won and dined them since acquiring the rights to exclusive interviews and talks Monday morning.
If Landeskog doesn’t sign with Seattle and isn’t formally made its lone selection by the Avalanche in Wednesday’s expansion draft, he will remain with Colorado until at least July 28, when NHL free agency begins.
There is still hope that the amiable nine-year-old captain and 10-year-old left winger of AVS fans choose to lower their asking price to stay in Denver – or the AVS decide they want to lose him and lose their ex. Can’t take risks.
The favorites to win the Stanley Cup again, the AVS would not want to mess with their culture and leadership. Landeskog sets the bar for both inside the locker room. That and his enviable net-front presence is precisely why he’s bound to get paid.
After being voted the Central Division’s “Last Man In” for the 2019 All-Star Game, joining linemates Nathan McKinnon and Mikko Rantenon, Landeskog has repeatedly stated that he does not consider himself an All-Star talent. admit. This is probably true. But when it comes to leadership, toughness and the ability to stand in front of the crease and score goals on redirections or rebounds, Landeskog is the elite.
The Avs already lacks many of the features that Landeskog offers. The club doesn’t have enough heaviness for its game – big hitters who aren’t afraid to drop the gloves. Superstars don’t provide those things; They get a hefty amount for their skills. Landeskog falls in between those things. He is certainly skilled but not to the extent of McKinnon and Rantenon.
Landeskog did not have a good second-round series against the Vegas Golden Knights beyond Game 1. In fact, he was demoted to the second line in Games 5 and 6 when coach Jared Bedner shuffled his lines in search of more offense. And in Game 5, he traded the offensive-field, which quickly led to Vegas’ second goal, which turned into a 3-2 overtime loss.
Colorado blew a 2-0 third period lead in that game, a painful defeat that management probably still feels.
Landeskog also turned a lazy turn in Game 7 against the San Jose Sharks in 2019, holding off a tying goal to start the first of three second-round playoff defeats.
Landeskog is not the right player. But he is certainly a great captain and an outstanding representative of the team. What is he worth?
Landeskog’s $5.57 million cap hit over the past seven years was the correct figure. If I’m General Manager Joe Sakic, I’ll look for every possible way to extend this a little over six years and keep the core together.
If I’m a Landescog with an estimated career income of $41.4 million, I’ll do what’s best for my family.
It makes sense to take maximum money and term from the highest bidder. But Denver has a strong chance of retiring from the Avalanche after winning the Stanley Cup and cementing himself as a community legend.
Is there a little less money than what might have been his last big contract? Only Landeskog knows the answer.