Mount Rushmore of the Colorado Avalanche: Left Wing

Chicago Blackhawks v Colorado Avalanche
Chicago Blackhawks v Colorado Avalanche / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages
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Mount Rushmore is one of the iconic landmarks of the United States. Nestled in the Black Hills of South Dakota, it’s a mountain with sculptures carved into the side depicting previous influential United States Presidents. It’s comprised of four people, Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt and Jefferson.

Since its creation, the faces depicted on the mural have been debated in multiple ways like their impact on the country, if others should have been sculpted, or their merit for being on the mountain at all.

In the sports world, a “Mount Rushmore” of a team, or positional area, or city, has been debated for years, and Mile High Sticking will take their turn. As the Avalanche have been in Denver since 1996, there’s plenty of players up for selection, and the franchise’s time in Quebec won’t be taken into consideration.

The primary instalment of this series started with the goalies and the second instalment of this series was the Defensemen. The next installment will be the Left Wings. There are plenty to choose from over the course of 28 years in Denver, and there were a few that stood out, and some that were debatable.  This is Mount Rushmore for Colorado Avalanche Left Wings.

4.) Gabriel Landeskog

This one should be the most obvious. He’s arguably the current Mr. Avalanche and has spent his entire career in burgundy and blue, captaining the team for the last number of years. He missed this past two seasons due to rehab from an injury, but that doesn’t negate the impact he’s had on the organization since his start.

Drafted by Colorado with the second overall pick in the 2011 NHL draft, Landeskog has spent eleven years with Colorado (not counting the last two years), scoring 248 goals and adding 323 assists. He was the Calder Trophy winner as the league’s top rookie. He was also on the All-Rookie team that season.

He plays a two-way game, as evidenced by being in the Selke trophy conversation as the league’s top defensive forward multiple times over his career, and he’s never been afraid to stick up for his teammates when necessary. He’s had 120 hits or more seven times over his career.

That bruising style has taken its toll on Landeskog, however, and he has played 51 or less games the last three seasons that he played in (2019-21). He’s on track to return next season at latest report and was skating and readying during the past playoffs.

Unfortunately, the Avs didn’t last long enough for him to enter the lineup, but hopefully this extended layoff will give Landy the time he needs to once again be an effective player and leader for the team.