I was just about to say “Good Saturday” to you all, but…then came the news from Jared Bednar: Colorado Avalanche captain Gabe Landeskog will have knee surgery Monday and is out indefinitely. And, Sam Girard will miss at least a month. So, yeah, scratch anything good about Saturday.
“No timeline,” Bednar said on Landeskog.
But, there was some encouraging news, Bednar indicated:
“Hopefully, he’ll be available for us for the stretch (run),” he said.
Bednar said Landeskog has had something nagging at him with the knee for a little while now and that it was “getting worse.”
“We’ll know more after surgery,” he said.
If Landeskog is out long-term, it’s possible he could be put on LTIR, which would free up $7 million in cap space. I’m not saying that’s probable, just possible.
This obviously is something of a shock, and no doubt is a very bad thing short-term. But if Landeskog can come back full steam ahead for the playoffs, that’s the bigger picture that’s probably more important. Bednar said it is not an ACL injury.
As for Girard, Bednar said he would miss four weeks. Anybody who might be put on LTIR, they would have to miss the rest of the season almost certainly, as Landeskog has a $7 million cap hit and Girard has a $5 million hit. If either came back before the end of the regular season, the Avs would have to add their cap space back in. The only way they can likely afford any player with a big contract at the trade deadline is to either get more room from an LTIR placement or to trade a player with a contract that would allow someone else with a bigger one perhaps to fit under the cap. If the Avs are cap compliant by the playoffs, a guy like Landeskog could come back for the postseason, and the Avs wouldn’t have any cap penalty, because there is no salary cap in the playoffs.
Click on the PuckPedia link on this page for up-to-the-minute Avs cap info. From PuckPedia:
- To qualify for LTIR, a player must be expected to miss at least 10 NHL Games AND 24 days of the NHL season
- When a player is on LTIR, a team may exceed the salary cap. Despite the common misconception, LTIR does not remove a Cap Hit from a team’s overall Cap Hit, it just potentially allows the team to exceed the salary cap.
Let’s just see how this plays out. I’m not going to get into any conspiracy theories about the cap/LTIR. Just reporting the facts here.
Bo Byram, as noted earlier, practiced today in a non-contact jersey. Technically, Bednar said, Byram is still on “personal leave”, so he had no update on any timeline for him. But it’s obviously good news and evidence that he could attempt another return for the stretch run/playoffs.
“The fact that he’s been skating and around the guys is (good news),” Bednar said.