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Avs captain Landeskog could return 'in the playoff timeframe'

Gabriel Landeskog Colorado Avalanche Gabriel Landeskog - The Canadian Press

After a busy trade deadline for the Colorado Avalanche, the team also appears on track to get captain Gabriel Landeskog back during the postseason.

"It's in the playoff timeframe,” Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar said Sunday of Landeskog's timeline for a return. 

Bednar cautioned, however, that the Avalanche will not rush Landeskog back regardless of their position in a playoff series. 

“He's not going to come back too early - it's just not going to happen,” Bednar said. “He has a timeline that says, 'You're not coming back before this date, doesn't matter how good you feel,' and we're sticking to that.

“It's his career, so we're not going to play with that regardless of where we're at in a playoff series. So, that's No. 1. He will not come back before that date, and then he's got to get himself to the point, hopefully, that he can come back. We don't have clarity on that.”

Sidelined since winning the Stanley Cup with the team in 2022, Landeskog resumed skating in January as he recovers from two separate knee surgeries. 

Landeskog was initially ruled out for the early part of the 2022-23 season after he underwent a procedure prior to the team's first game. It was then announced in May of last year that he would undergo cartilage replacement surgery and miss the entire 2023-24 season.

The 31-year-old forward posted 30 goals and 59 points in 51 games during the 2021-22 season, adding 11 goals and 22 points in 20 playoff games during the Stanley Cup run. The Stockholm, Sweden, native has 248 goals and 571 points in 738 career games.

Landeskog has five seasons remaining after this one on an eight-year, $56 million deal signed with the team in 2021. The deal carries a cap hit of $7 million, which is currently shelved on long-term injured reserve. 

Selected second overall by the Avalanche in the 2011 draft, he was named captain as a 19-year-old in September of 2012.


Avs' active deadline

Colorado got to work in the days ahead of the deadline, shaking up their roster with the additions of defenceman Sean Walker, along with forwards Casey Mittelstadt, Brandon Duhaime, Yakov Trenin and Ben Myers before Friday's deadline.

Mittelstadt was acquired in a one-for-one deal that sent defenceman Bowen Byram to Buffalo Sabres, while Colorado also traded forward Ryan Johansen in their deal to acquire Walker from the Philadelphia Flyers. 

The Avalanche defeated the Minnesota Wild 2-1 on Friday as many of their new additions debuted, moving to 40-20-5 on the season. Colorado currently sits tied for second in the Central Division with the Winnipeg Jets, four points back of the division-leading Dallas Stars.