"The Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog will undergo a cartilage transplant in his right knee on May 10." The Colorado Avalanche announced that this morning via their website and social media platforms. The news hits like a knockout punch but also sheds light on just all that Gabriel Landeskog has been dealing with since September of 2020 when he first sustained the injury.
Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog will undergo a cartilage transplant in his right knee on May 10. The surgery will be performed by Dr. Brian Cole at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. The 30-year-old forward is expected to miss the entire 2023-24 season. pic.twitter.com/bM466EpL3G— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) May 9, 2023
It's pretty incredible to consider the fact that Landeskog was able to help lead his team to their first Stanley Cup in twenty years with one good knee. Makes sense of the many maintenance days and long-term absence since.
I, for one, am relieved that Landeskog is getting the treatment and rest he deserves. I can't speak for Gabe, but I'd imagine he wouldn't change a thing, given his struggles led to such success. That said, however worth it all of this might be to him; he needs to be fully rehabilitated for the betterment of his life in the long term and his future success.
What does this mean for the Colorado Avalanche, who will be captainless again next season? They will utilize the 7 million dollars available via Landeskog's LTIR status. After Colorado's first-round exit, many fans clamored about the Avalanche not doing so at the trade deadline. The difference is it was the trade deadline. The Avalanche had the money to pay whomever they traded for but didn't have the assets to strike a deal with any teams. That all changes in free agency. In free agency, money talks, and Colorado will have plenty considering their own UFA's and the likelihood that many won't return.
Avalanche fans should be excited about Chris MacFarland and Joe Sakic having the financing to go after guys in free agency. Moreover, as unfortunate as it may be, they are both watching a lot of playoff hockey right now before the free-agent window opens in July. The way I see it, the Avalanche will have roughly 18 million dollars to secure their bottom six, find a second-line center, and affordably round out their defensive core. It's time for Colorado to rest, reload and re-appear as the league's fiercest franchise.
Let us know your reaction to the Landeskog news, and tell us who you would like to see on next year's roster.