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Avalanche Might Push Landeskog Away with Low-Ball UFA Offer

The Colorado Avalanche have a tough decision to make with Gabriel Landeskog and their contract offer may not be enough for him to stay.

What Gabriel Landeskog is worth to the Colorado Avalanche will be interesting to find out this offseason. A pending unrestricted free agent, there should be teams with interest, but the Avs have a ton of housekeeping items to look after, including a deal for goaltender Phillip Grubauer and making plans for a long-term with defenseman Cale Makar. There’s a chance Landeskog could get pushed to the side when all the dust settles.

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According to scribes Mike Chambers, Mark Kiszla and Ryan O’Halloron of The Denver Post, the forward is probably not going to be a priority and Chambers actually wonders if the Avalanche will gamble on how badly Landeskog wants to stay and make him what many will consider a low-ball offer.

Chambers writes, “Landeskog was a stud in the St. Louis series and I remember thinking then he would absolutely be the free-agent priority signing. Not so sure now.” He adds,” Right now, the club might make him a take-it-or-leave-it offer of around $5 million annually and not at his preferred length in years.” Considering Landeskog is coming off a $5.57 million contract, this is a bit of a slap in the face for their captain, even if the flat salary cap has a role to play here.

Gabriel Landeskog Colorado Avalanche UFA
Gabriel Landeskog Colorado Avalanche UFA

Landeskog will turn 29 in November. While that’s not old, he’s got a ton of responsibility and ties to the Colorado area. He’s married and has two young children and Chambers is suggesting the Avs are betting he does not want to move. Their potential offer might reflect that. If Landeskog wants to retire as a Avs forward, the team is probably right, because as O’Halloron notes, the alternative is a bad team with salary-cap space like Los Angeles or Anaheim.

What Will Landeskog Do?

It would feel out of place if Landeskog left the Avalanche, but more and more insiders are starting to wonder if that’s a possibility. All three scribes in this scenario talked about his disappointing production and it was suggested the Avs don’t see him as a top-line winger, thus making a long-term investment in him at a fair market rate is not an option.

He should be able to get more than $5 million on the open market, but the question will be how much? If it’s not much, he’ll probably stay put. If it’s a lot, one has to wonder how hard he’ll consider leaving.

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