With the trade deadline quickly approaching, we will be profiling several players in the weeks ahead that are likely to be dealt by March 1st.
The Colorado Avalanche are one of only two teams – Arizona being the other – that currently identify as certain deadline sellers and in the midst of a disappointing campaign it’s believed the team is willing to consider dealing anyone not named Nathan Mackinnon as they try to find the right blend. Colorado may consider moving winger Gabriel Landeskog and he represents the type of player you don’t often see come available. Landeskog is a four-time 20-goal scorer and at just 24, the Swedish winger is still comfortably within his prime. He also has four more seasons left of team control at a price that’s quite fair for a solid, two-way top-six winger. Sure, Landeskog isn’t having a particularly strong season but there would still likely be plenty of interest in acquiring his services if he was truly available.
As noted above, Landeskog has four years left on a deal that comes with an AAV of $5.57MM. His deal contains neither a NMC nor a NTC, putting the Avalanche in the driver’s seat in terms of trade talks.
Landeskog has tallied just nine goals and 20 points in 40 games this season, a scoring rate well below his career average of 0.67 points-per-game. Part of that is likely a function of Colorado icing the league’s lowest scoring attack, averaging just 2.06 goals-per-game. He’s generating shots at a rate not much below that of his career norm and his conversion rate of 10% is right in line with his career average. His 95.5 PDO is indicative of bad puck luck and a regression could be in order.
40 GP, 9 G, 11 A, 20 Pts, -13 plus/minus rating, 44 PIM, 19:12 ATOI
The Los Angeles Kings and Boston Bruins have both previously been rumored as potential landing spots for Landeskog. Both make a ton of sense as they tend to favor bigger forwards who can play a physical forechecking style. At 6-foot-1 and 215-pounds, Landeskog certainly brings good size. Colorado reportedly asked Boston for a package headlined by rookie blue liner Brandon Carlo but the Bruins balked at the asking price. The Kings will have nearly $7MM in deadline cap space meaning they can afford to add the winger without moving salary, however such a transaction would complicate their salary cap situation in seasons ahead. Anaheim, with their blue line depth would seem to make for a natural match for the Avalanche, and the Ducks also appreciate size and physicality in their forwards. Considering the term remaining on his deal, any team in the league could show interest in Landeskog should they be willing to meet Colorado’s understandably high asking price.
Likelihood Of A Trade
Blockbuster trades involving multiple pieces are complicated and are rarely able to be completed during the season. Prior to the 2012 trade deadline, the New York Rangers worked feverishly to acquire winger Rick Nash from Columbus and even though Nash’s market was severely limited due to his willingness to go to only a few teams, a deal wasn’t completed until after the season. The Rangers ultimately sacrificed a package of talent similar to what they offered at the deadline, but then Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson still held out, hoping the market would improve.
It’s likely the Landeskog negotiations will play out similarly. Considering their ask of a young, top-four blue liner, a prospect and a first-round pick, a deal of this nature is easier to make in the offseason when the salary cap plays less of a role in the proceedings.