The Colorado Avalanche announced Thursday that captain Gabriel Landeskog will miss the defending Stanley Cup champions' bid to win a second straight title.
The 30-year-old forward missed the entirety of the 2022-23 regular season with a knee injury that led to him having surgery in October. He was initially expected to miss 12 weeks, but ultimately, the timetable for his return was continually pushed back to the point that he will not be available to take part in the playoffs.
Landeskog, who is one of the NHL's longest-serving captains, has been one of the most pivotal players in the Avalanche's lineup. He has given them a top-line left winger and has produced nine 20-goal campaigns. Last year, he scored a career-high 30 goals and finished with 59 points over 51 games. His importance was even more emphasized in the playoffs. Landeskog was second on the team in postseason goals with 11 while his 22 points made him one of four 20-point scorers the Avalanche relied upon to win the third championship in franchise history.
This newest development is the latest chapter in what has been an injury-riddled season for the defending champions.
Mikko Rantanen, who scored a career-high 54 goals and 102 points, is one of only four Avalanche skaters to play in every game for the club this season. Injuries have altered the Avs' lineup in such a way this season that they have played numerous games without key figures such as reigning Conn Smythe and Norris Trophy winner Cale Makar, All-Star center Nathan MacKinnon, two-way forward Valeri Nichushkin and veteran defensemen Erik Johnson and Josh Manson, among others.