It’s still uncertain when the Colorado Avalanche will get Gabriel Landeskog back this season. It appears that he has made a little bit of progress, but that doesn’t always mean that we will see him on the ice anytime soon. With 27 games left of the regular season, what should the team do with him?
We obviously would hate to see a setback in his recovery. Getting Landeskog out into game action before he’s 100 percent healed would be a massive mistake. Since this was an injury from last season, the fact that he’s still not on the ice just puts a bad feeling in my stomach. I’m no doctor but it’s just not a good situation.
Ultimately, what the Colorado Avalanche could do is keep Landeskog on long-term injured reserve (which he’s been on), until the playoffs begin. This allows the team to be flexible with the $7 million freed up by him not being on the active roster. It allows the team to have a little bit more room in terms of potentially making a trade for a player who ultimately would be in the team’s short-term plans.
It doesn’t make sense to trade for a high-profile/high-priced player given how little salary cap the Avalanche have. Currently, according to CapFriendly, they sit at just under $8 million.
The team “missed out” on on big names such as Ryan O’Reilly, Vladimir Tarasenko and Bo Horvat, while recently acquiring Matt Nieto (again) on January 25th. It’s clear they feel alright making the lower-profile moves.
The Avalanche also seem to be coming into their own in terms of climbing the division standings. They just need to put together a stretch of high-scoring games and hope that others in the division score much less. Currently, they are third in the Western conference with 67 points. The two teams ahead of them (Dallas and Winnipeg), have 72 and 71 points, respectively.
This is a tight race in the West and it’s certainly not out of question that the Avalanche can still get into the playoffs. Landeskog’s presence is missed, but if all goes well, it will be appreciated in the playoffs.