The Colorado Avalanche are not having the season that they want or need right now. They currently sit at 27 points in the standings and are projected to finish with 57 points total. To put that into perspective, Toronto, who finished dead last in 2016, managed to hit 69 points. It's clear that Colorado needs to change something, and fast.
Colorado’s problems are many, including depth, the blue line, and their goaltending. That’s a pretty substantial list for Colorado, but it can easily fixed with a few changes. Colorado needs to do some heavy scouting for the offseason and look at players and advanced stats. Colorado can also take advantage of the goaltending market and looming Expansion Draft, and snag one for cheap.
There are about five forwards that Colorado can build around, but there are reports flying around that the Avalanche are shopping one of their most prized forwards. Gabriel Landeskog is reportedly drawing interest from other teams and the Avalanche are listening. The reports are now at a stage where it’s a matter of when, not if. Landeskog, the captain of the Avalanche, is a player that should not be shopped, but it seems inevitable.
Gabriel Landeskog on his way out?
Gabriel Landeskog is a stud, a truly amazing player who stuck on a bad team. If Landeskog is dealt, it's going to be one of those trades where Landeskog’s numbers will immediately bump up. Landeskog may go down as another Tyler Seguin. There are three teams that are showing interest, including Boston, Los Angeles, and surprisingly Pittsburgh.
Boston and Los Angeles seem to be a perfect fit with their physical style of play. Landeskog, a power forward, is the exact type of player that those franchises dream about. Along with his physical style of play, Landeskog also has the capability of scoring goals, as he proved in 2014 when he scored 26. On an elite team, that could be bumped up by ten. Boston would likely have to offer up a first rounder and prospect to get him, with Los Angeles giving up a first round pick plus an NHL player like Alec Martinez.
The strange team that appears on the list is Pittsburgh. The Penguins are a team that looks almost complete and not in need of much else. The Penguins already have Gabriel Landeskog type players in their team in Patrick Hornqvist and Chris Kunitz, so one of them would likely have to go back to Colorado. Kunitz might be the optimal choice because of him playing on the left side. Landeskog could slide into Crosby’s or Malkin’s wing with ease as Crosby had found success with those types of players. Pittsburgh might be the team that has the most to offer Colorado, however. Kunitz, Derrick Pouliot, Marc-Andre Fleury, and Eric Fehr all being options. It would likely look like either Kunitz or Fleury, Pouliot, and a first rounder.
If the rumors are true, and Landeskog is on his way out, he will make a valuable addition to whatever team takes him on, and he will continue to succeed in his career somewhere else. Colorado would be foolish to move him, but they have shown in the past that they are willing to be bold, and the captain hasn't been enjoying a decent season so far. When he moves on, they better get an amazing return on him, because a Gabriel Landeskog don’t come around often.
Do you think the Avs will trade Gabriel Landeskog? Let us know in the comments section below.