Gabriel Landeskog vs Jamie Benn: Captain Battle


When you think of Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog, you may think of a few different things. One is that he is hailed as one of the best-looking men in the NHL. Another is that he is a quintessential power forward, which is a bit odd for a Swedish born and trained forward.

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, you may even realize what a stellar leader Landeskog is. At the center of that perception is the fact that Gabriel Landeskog was the youngest player to ever be named an NHL captain.

I’m not as sure of the perception of Dallas Stars Captain Jamie Benn. I kind of think of him as a party boy, thanks to his tweets about his and BFF Tyler Seguin’s wild ways. (Landeskog’s reaction to turning 21, the legal drinking age in the U.S.? “Now people will stop calling me a kid.”)

Benn is also considered the young face of his franchise. Jamie Benn’s also known for his fighting. He even punched Erik Johnson in the face — of which, I do not approve. Anyway, on the ice — and in the penalty box — is where Benn does most of his captaining. And, while Landy has been known to fight and even earn the odd slashing penalty, his leadership is not relegated only to the ice.

Though a power forward, Landeskog is not as known for being a fighter. Except for that little matter of his rousing captain fight with Winnipeg Jets captain Andrew Ladd:

Next: The Impact of Gabriel Landeskog's Fight

Not to say that Jamie Benn is not much featured in the press — though fellow Fansided site Blackout Dallas does not feature him much — but it is one area in which Landeskog especially shines.

So many players fall into cliche or spout of rehearsed nothing. (We all saw what happened when Phil Kessel went off script, so I’m inferring their agents coach them to be rehearsed.) Not Landeskog. In typical 21st-century style, he’s adept at the soundbite. One of my favorite quotes came right after a post-Christmas loss to the Chicago Blackhawks last year:

"“I’m not the guy to believe in excuses. But looking at the circumstances, we clearly didn’t have the best effort — whether it’s because we didn’t have our legs, or because we ate too many Christmas cookies.”"

Actually, his post-Christmas quote about losing to the Columbus Blue Jackets — can we not make this loss a thing — was a little more biting:

"“The sun came up this morning, last I checked.”"

That said, Landeskog is never rude to the press that I’ve seen. (He’s pretty renowned for being friendly with fans, too.) In fact, after the Avalanche got booed in the Pepsi Center after a lackluster performance against the Vancouver Canucks, Landeskog looked more shell-shocked than anything. He came up with one of the best quotes:

"“We believe in ourselves, and we hope Avs Nation believes in us.”"

It was a rally from our captain as much so as as the captain fight.

And that’s leadership.