Gabriel Landeskog And The Captaincy

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Gabriel Landeskog
Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports /

Should He Keep The “C”?

Normally this is where I give you my final decision so that you can disagree with me in the comment section (which I love, don’t get me wrong). But to be truthful I can see it both ways here. So I’m going to break it down into some questions.

Do I think Gabriel Landeskog actively deserves the captaincy? Like I said earlier, having a peaceful happy locker room full of flowers and rainbows is great, but not the end goal. The end goal is winning hockey games, and to do that the team needs to compete day in and day out. I will say especially if the team looks up to Landy as much as they say they do his failures to consistently give effort are even more problematic for the Avalanche. So I would say no, on the ice-where it matters- I don’t think Landeskog has earned his “C” this year.

Do I think Gabriel Landeskog has actively failed at captaincy? The team still gets along and seems to care about the season, so right off the bat I have to say that I’m not claiming in any way Landeskog has been a total bust as captain. I will say that his antics on the ice are getting tiresome. I wish he would focus on the game and his team. At the same time his penalties have been costly at times. However, he’s an aggressive power forward so penalty minutes are to be expected. At times his lack of effort/awareness have cost goals. So umm I would say no, not completely- but I’m getting annoyed.

Final question: Do I think the team would suffer without Landeskog as captain? No I do not. I think Nathan MacKinnon will be the captain eventually for years to come. I think the team would miss Landeskog as a player, but I think as far as captaincy goes, the “C” being on his chest versus Mackinnon’s wouldn’t affect the team- at least not negatively.

I know MacKinnon is a bit of a goofball off the ice. But I’ll give you my definitive statement: I couldn’t care less about off the ice. I want the “C” on a player who I know is coming to the rink every night to win and doing everything he can to get the win. And I guarantee you retreats and team building aside, the Avalanche players respect MacKinnon for his work ethic night in and night out.

So I guess I will give you an answer: I think MacKinnon deserves-and will be- the captain at some point. I think that you absolutely cannot strip the captaincy from anyone and keep him on the team. So I guess I’m saying Gabriel Landeskog should be the Av’s trade bait closing in on the deadline.

If Gabriel Landeskog is not traded he can keep the “C”, like I said he hasn’t actively failed at the position. He’s done very well off the ice from all reports. But this isn’t Pee Wee hockey, the Avalanche need a captain to lead the team to win on the ice.