Should Avalanche grant a temporary Captain in Landeskog’s absence?

It has been two long years since we have seen Gabriel Landeskog take the ice for the Colorado Avalanche. That is a long time and there are many questioning when the Captain will make his return to the ice, if at all. In the meantime, should the Avs grant a temporary captain in his absence?
2022 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six
2022 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

Now that a Stanley Cup Champion has been named, it is the official start of the NHL offseason. The Colorado Avalanche, who were bounced disappointingly against the Dallas Stars in the second round, have a lot of questions that need to be answered this summer.

One of those questions is what is going to happen with Captain Gabriel Landeskog. The 31-year-old has not stepped foot on the ice in actual game action for the Avalanche since the end of the 2021-22 Stanley Cup run, and the team has been essentially captain-less for the past two seasons.

Should the Avalanche grant another player the prestigious "C", while Landeskog's future seems so unclear?

Let's discuss.

Importance of the "C"?

The last team to hoist the Stanley Cup without a formal Captain was the Boston Bruins back in 1972. That is crazy to think, that the past 52 winners of the Stanley Cup, have had one guy leading the charge for them. With that said, just how important is that patch anyway?

Well, it is the most important letter in hockey. It signifies the sole leader of a group of 23 men who are trying to achieve the same goal. There is no greater honor in the beautiful and poetic game of hockey than having the patch upon your chest for the world to see.

Gabriel Landeskog is undoubtedly the leader of the Colorado Avalanche, even now during his extended time away due to injury. But, it begs the question, who could replace Landeskog's presence and become the intermittent captain until he comes back?

Who could be the temporary replacement?

Who, if anyone, could be a solid temporary replacement for Landeskog until he is healthy enough to play once again? There are a couple of names to throw onto this fire, but only one can make it blaze.

That would be centerman Nathan MacKinnon, and it isn't even a discussion. He is undoubtedly the best player on this Colorado Avalanche roster, and likely a top-3 NHL player overall. Granting him the captaincy position while Landeskog is away is a smart move.

Again, this is likely not even a worry for next season. If Landeskog gets the clearance he needs, he will retain his position and all will be right with the hierarchy and structure of this Avalanche’s roster. Only time will tell, but it certainly makes you wonder. what would happen if the worst were to come for Landeskog.