4 tidbits from Colorado Avalanche end-of-season press conference

Chicago Blackhawks v Colorado Avalanche
Chicago Blackhawks v Colorado Avalanche / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

It was scheduled several weeks ago, but the Colorado Avalanche held an end-of-season press conference. It included their general manager, Chris MacFarland, and captain winger Gabriel Landeskog.

Scanning social media, it seemed as if a lot of people were concerned that this would be a retirement press conference for Landeskog, who has missed two whole seasons due to a nagging injury suffered during the team's Stanley Cup run. Thankfully, that isn't the case.

General Manager Chris MacFarland touched on several topics today. Let's check out a couple of them.

1. Gabriel Landeskog still attempting a comeback from tragic knee injury.

You have to give Gabriel Landeskog props for his determination in trying to get back into game action. While he seems to be a long way away still, the fact that he isn't giving up on his return is awesome to see.

Landeskog said that he has been doing better over the last couple of months, which is obviously a good sign. Despite this, however, he refuses to put a timeline on his potential return because that would just set up people for potential disappointment, including himself. This is a good mindset.

It stinks that he is aways away from returning, but the fact that he isn't retiring, at least right now, is a positive and we can still hold out hope for his return during the 2024-25 season until/unless something happens in his rehab.

2. Team disappointed with Valeri Nichushkin but still rooting for him

The whole Valeri Nichushkin situation is a tough one to talk about. Nichushkin is suspended for no less than six months. On the human side, everybody wants him to get better. Addiction is a real serious thing to deal with and it's clear that he has been struggling. This goes beyond hockey. Hockey is secondary when alcohol addiction is involved.

General Manager Chris MacFarland acknowledged that the team does face challenges in terms of the salary cap with Nichushkin and Landeskog, but they do have options. All options are on the table when it comes to Nichushkin, but the team is not considering a contract termination at this time.

MacFarland was disappointed for the players on the team, needless to say.

3. Arturri Lehkonen to have shoulder procedure, could return for training camp

One of the Colorado Avalanche's top stars, Arturri Lehkonen, will undergo a shoulder procedure that will knock him out for a couple of months but the hope is that he will return for training camp. Training camp is scheduled for the middle of September, so that is about four months of recovery for Lehkonen.

Lehkonen played in 45 regular season games this season and scored 16 goals while assisting on 18 other goals. He was a plus-11 player this past season, which is the best plus-minus of his career so far.

4. Colorado Avalanche hoping to re-sign Jonathan Drouin

Jonathan Drouin started off rough with the Colorado Avalanche, but eventually found his groove. He finished the regular season with 19 goals and 37 assists, which is not a bad stat line at all for a player who isn't necessarily considered a top guy on the team.

It's a nice story, with him coming over to play with Nathan MacKinnon once again. It took a little while for the team to find where he fit best but after a little while, he secured his spot on the top line. He earned it.

MacFarland says the team will keep in touch with Drouin and see what happens from there.

I will be curious to see what kind of contract he is offered and what he ends up getting. I initially thought that the team could sign him at a bargain price, and while I still think that is possible, maybe the Colorado Avalanche will offer him more money than I initially thought they would.

Either way, I think that he deserves another contract with the team. Hopefully both sides will be able to come to terms.

You can watch the entire press conference here.