NHL 2021 Free Agent Profile: Gabriel Landeskog
There are some interesting names set to hit market when unrestricted free agency opens tomorrow, but Gabriel Landeskog is the marquee forward of the lot.
The former second overall pick and captain of the Presidents' Trophy-winning Colorado Avalanche, Landeskog has scored at just under a point per game rate in the past three seasons, brings poise and leadership credibility to the table. There's always going to be a market for this type of player.
He was the youngest captain in league history before Connor McDavid broke the record in 2016. He has seen the Avalanche through a tumultuous period in their organization's history, as they've rebuilt themselves two times over, culminating most recently in legitimate contender status. He's never led the Avalanche in scoring, always featuring in a supporting top-line role, but he's a player who nonetheless destined for a career in their organization.
That’s looking a lot less certain by the day. The Avalanche are one of the savviest teams in the league, immersed in analytics, and progressive when it comes to player evaluation and cap management. But they now find themselves in a circumstance where two of their key players -- the team captain and a Vézina-nominated goaltender -- must either be retained at large contracts that history suggests they're not likely to live up to, or be allowed to walk.
So what calibre of player is Landeskog really? And is he worth enough to the Avalanche to take on that kind of risk?
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