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Unprotected? Landeskog circus begins in earnest



About three weeks ago, I wrote how Avs captain Gabe Landeskog could easily be left unprotected when the Avs submit their “protected” list for the July 21 NHL expansion draft with the Seattle Kraken. A lot of people thought that was insane. Well, there are some unconfirmed reports tonight that Landeskog will, indeed, be left unprotected when the list that they had to formally submit becomes public Sunday morning.

Rather than rehash the whole thing, I encourage you to click on the story and read how/why this could happen.

The Kraken have from Sunday to July 21 to exclusively negotiate with Landeskog. If they DO come to an agreement, he has to be their official selection on July 21 when the draft occurs. If not, the Avs can start negotiating with him soon after, until July 28, when EVERY team can make him an offer. Seattle can throw a huge offer at Landy now, and who knows, maybe Seattle part-owner, Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer, will throw in a role in the next “Mission Impossible 18” or something. I can see Landy being a good bad guy against Tom Cruise, like that blond Euro guy in the first “Die Hard” movie.

As spelled out in my original piece, this is either Joe Sakic making a very shrewd move, allowing the Avs to protect a guy they may not have wanted to lose and still keeping Landy with a wink-win agreement. Or, it might have been the first formal step in the team disengaging from the 28-year-old left winger.

I have been told by reliable sources that the Avs and Landeskog are far apart on the numbers. But I’ve heard all that before. It could all be posturing. Or, maybe not.

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Good on Athletic reporter Peter Baugh getting a quote the other day from Landeskog saying he was “disappointed” at not having a deal with the Avs by now. I can promise you this much: Sakic probably did NOT like Landeskog going public like that. Oh, I can guarantee he didn’t like that.

So, maybe there really is some discord between the parties now and Landy is a goner.

I don’t know, I still have a hunch this is all been something of a posturing game. I do have some people telling me they think Landeskog will return to the Avs. Sakic, of course, is saying nothing publicly. If Landeskog is gone, you can darn well expect them to do something dramatic with the money saved, to bring in someone else.

We’ll really analyze things tomorrow morning, when the list becomes official. Try to get some sleep, lol.

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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies, Avs Insider with 104.3 The Fan. Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report alum, author of seven books.

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Matt Briggle

Well, crap. I have a bad feeling about this one folks. I really don’t think they can afford to lose Landy this way. I sincerely hope those “unconfirmed reports” that you cite turn out to be hogwash, but knowing the quality of your reporting over the years I kind of doubt it. This is gonna be a long 10 days or so here in Avs country.

Svein Lister

I can see Kraken giving Landy a good offer. I can imagine very few players who would be better suited to captain an expansion team than a Landeskog eager to prove to the Avs that they were wrong to let him go. The “us against the world” mentality in that locker room would be monumental.

He will probably have a thing or two to say about Adrian comparing him to Alan Rickman too…

[…] Unprotected? Landeskog circus begins in earnest – (Colorado Hockey Now) […]


Look for a big number – $8 million/year, 5 years = $40 million contract (or even higher in number or term) that blows the Avs out of the water. Then watch Landy be paraded in front of the media, his lovely family in tow and a new Kraken Jersey with the “C” affixed to it. That’s a great move for Seattle. I can’t think of a better player or direction to start a franchise. Gabe’s contract should have been taken care of a long time ago. If it goes down like this and the Avs don’t get out of the… Read more »

Dwayne Hall

Could this have been a way for the Avs to allow Landy to find out what his number would be on the open market from a team that could sign him to a bigger number? Then have time still before free agency begins to get closer if Seattle doesn’t sign him. I think the numbers I’ve seen offered by the Avs are slightly low, but fair in the current flat cap market. The rumored number I’ve heard Landy want is way too high. So if their as far apart as reported I think it’s on his end. Maybe this will… Read more »


Whatever you can get is not too high. That’s how markets work. Sure, there have been a lot of bad contracts in sports. Ju’Wan James and Ian Desmond are prime examples. Overpay to get a ready made captain of your team with a lovely family and the face of your franchise? In the prime of his career? I think not. This breaks up the MGM line – one of the best lines in hockey history. Like I said before, this is the beginning of the end for Joe Sakic. You think Nate is going to rollover on his next contract… Read more »


I enjoy your comments as they’re challenging a fanboy mentality but if you want to be devil’s advocate then why not take it a step further? Let’s truly shake up this roster and leave the door open for Landy. Bye bye. It’s not like there aren’t other players who would thrive on a line with Mack and Rants. Landy wasn’t super-impressive towards the end of the Vegas series. As another commenter on here put it – looks like Landy doesn’t hate losing more than he likes winning. Also, there’s nothing stopping the Avs from picking up more big bodies from… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by djs

Well, if Seattle can follow the Vegas blueprint, then they’ll be winning more than the Avs. Does that have anything to do with winning? Colorado can’t get past the 2nd round in the playoffs, so the bar isn’t that high for the Kraken. Did you see the quality of players available for Seattle to draft? Pretty impressive. Killorn from the Lightning or Coleman? Get a good goaltender and they’re on their way. Fanboy? My observation has to do with building a fan base and getting your franchise off to a great start. The Kraken will do that with the Landeskog… Read more »


Nah, I said I liked reading your comments because they aren’t fanboy…


I really try to be objective but with my own opinions based on mucho years of watching hockey. Contrary to some folks beliefs, I’m really a die hard Avs fan and would like to see them win another Cup. I know there are hard decisions to make but I don’t like the direction the club is going and they haven’t learned from past mistakes. This is really a critical year for the Avs and Joe Sakic. If you lose players like Landeskog, it’s very hard to replace them. It’s not plug and play. If the Avs don’t get more physical… Read more »


Lot of negative waves out there. Losing Landy would be a bummer, but it is not the end of the world. I think judgements should be withheld on Sakic and the Avs offseason moves until All the dust has settled. The salary cap is a real constraint and I think we have to give Sakic the some slack until we see what has happened. He has a lot to juggle in the flat cap salary era. Landy also ought to think long and hard before signing with another team, especially if they are not going to be cup.contenders. If I… Read more »


Ron Francis is a former NHL player, Hall of Famer and the GM of the Kraken. He has free reign to spend up to the cap and there are some excellent players to choose from in the upcoming expansion draft. Follow the Vegas model and they’ll be Cup contenders in no time. An extra $8 million or $12 million in the bank for Landeskog is keeping things in perspective.

Karl Keen

I do not know, I am just not worried. I think there is a wink/wink deal here and the reason for the whole “Landy not happy with negotiations” “leak” was just to make it not seem like one was there. If I’m wrong, and I very well could be, of course I do not want to lose him and if we do, we are not as good of a team no matter who we replace him with, but year after year we see these long term deals destroying a team’s cap space. I feel comfortable with no more than a… Read more »

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