NHL Anaheim Ducks

Gabriel Landeskog: Is Naming Him Captain The Right Move For Avalanche?

The Colorado Avalanche delivered a big surprise to their fans and fans around the National Hockey League on Tuesday, with word that the captaincy had made its way to Gabriel Landeskog.

The ‘C’ will transfer from the sweater of Milan Hejduk over to Landeskog, last year’s Calder Trophy winner. Landeskog becomes the youngest captain in the history of the NHL, as he’s 11 days younger than when the Pittsburgh Penguins named Sidney Crosby their captain.

If what we saw last year is any indication, Gabriel Landeskog has the makings of a future star in the Mile High City. Though he wasn’t immune to rookie struggles, Landeskog turned in a very strong year, with 52 points in 82 games. He was downright dominant at times, and contributed in all aspects of the game for the Avalanche.

This is a move that might have been more predictable had Hejduk retired, but that has yet to happen. So the fact that someone new is wearing the captain’s patch at all is something of a surprise to all of us. But is handing such a large role to a 19-year-old the best idea?

The Avalanche are saying a few things with this move. First, they are declaring the future is now. This is a club with plenty of young talent, and could be a few players away from serious contention in the Western Conference. It also essentially makes Landeskog the face of their franchise. And why not?

Eventually, it was going to be Landeskog stepping up as the star of this team. There are others that could reach ‘elite’ status on this team, but none have the potential of Landeskog. He’s a contributor at full strength and on both special teams. Just one year into his career, he may be their most important player.

In the end, is this a somewhat questionable decision from the Colorado Avalanche? Probably, but mainly because of the fact that Milan Hejduk hasn’t filed his retirement papers yet. Nonetheless, this is a move that says a lot about this organization and where it’s going, and it’s a move that I like.