The Colorado Avalanche today announced the signing of team captain Gabriel Landeskog to a seven-year, $39 million contract extension.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Landeskog, 20, has one year remaining on his entry-level contract, so his new deal (worth an average annual cap hit of $5.571 million) kicks in for 2014-15. It’s a bold move by the Avs new management (let’s face it, Joe Sakic runs the show now, with an assist from new coach Patrick Roy). avoiding a “bridge deal” and instead locking up their captain long term.
Landeskog netted 52 points and won the Calder Trophy as the top NHL rookie in 2012, but was limited by injury (concussion) to only 17 points in 36 games last season. He’s unquestionably a skilled winger with significant upside, who could go on to become an NHL star.
Still, there are some concerns, notably the recent concussion and how Landeskog will rebound this coming season. There was chatter late last season many of the Avs were more interested in their season-ending trip to Las Vegas than in their remaining games, which does raise some questions about his being the team captain at such a young age.
Should Landeskog shake off the injury concerns and questions about his leadership, he could prove well worth this lengthy deal, especially if he helps lift the Avalanche back into perennial playoff contention.