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Landeskog Is Not Retiring, But Clarity For Next Year? We Still Don’t Have That

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For all the folks that thought Gabriel Landeskog meeting with the media on Thursday was a sign that he was ready to announce his retirement, the Avalanche shut the door on that before the Captain could even speak.

“Big news, Gabe is not retiring,” Avalanche PR head Brendan McNicholas announced before the presser began, before joking that Landeskog, who was wearing a t-shirt and athletic shorts, would hopefully dress up a little bit more to his retirement press conference.

I didn’t expect to get a retirement announcement from Landeskog, but I did expect some clarity on where he’s at heading into the off-season.

We didn’t get that.

When asked if next season is a realistic target for him to return, the Captain turned to McNicholas and asked when training camp starts, before he gave his answer.

“Mid-September and start of April, I feel pretty good about it,” he joked.

A great line for the presser and it got some laughs, but there really isn’t any clarity on where he’s at and when he’ll be ready to return. That makes life for Chris MacFarland even more difficult this summer, as it doesn’t sound like he can really plan on spending the $7 million Landeskog makes like he did last season.

“It’s a cap challenge. It’s reality,” MacFarland said. “We’ll stay in touch with Gabe and continue to pull for him and see where he’s at and glean more information, but definitely hopeful and we’re going to be 100% behind him, whether it’s September, October, November, whenever that day is, we’ll be super excited to see it, that’s for sure.”

It hasn’t been a straight line for Landeskog to even get where he’s at today, but he did make it clear that there have been positive signs, especially lately.

“I’ve felt really good now for two straight months, physically with no setbacks, minor or major,” Landeskog said when I asked him about important benchmarks in his recovery. “That’s a real positive. Without sharing too much, it’s a bumpy road and I knew that coming into it, but I didn’t realize how hard it was going to be, especially when you do hit those bumps. There’s no point in me setting a timeline or setting even a benchmark for whatever. You’re just setting yourself up to be disappointed and pissed off if it doesn’t happen. There is a program and there are steps that need to be met, but they’re fluid. If things go well, then we’ll follow this plan and if they don’t, then we’ll tweak it and adjust as we go.”

No straight line and bumps in the road makes it awfully difficult for the Avalanche to plan their summer, and that was a big theme on Thursday. MacFarland made it clear that they’re going to need to find some low AAV players this summer to fill out the roster.

There was a lot to take from both press conferences, as the Captain and GM spoke for almost 50 minutes, including a lot on Valeri Nichushkin. I’ll have plenty more from them today and tomorrow, but the big news is that Gabriel Landeskog is not calling it a career at the moment.

When will he actually play again, though? We still don’t know, and that’s a little concerning from an Avalanche perspective.

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