Gabriel Landeskog’s future with the Colorado Avalanche appears uncertain with the July 28 start of NHL’s free-agent market less than a week away. The 28-year-old left winger will soon become an unrestricted free agent if they fail to reach an agreement on a deal.
The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun reported Tuesday the two sides remain far apart. The Avalanche left Landeskog unprotected in the recent expansion draft to protect another player. LeBrun indicated the Seattle Kraken spoke with his representatives but nothing came of it. They chose Joonas Donskoi over the Avs captain.
Salary-cap space could be complicating the negotiations. Cap Friendly shows the Avalanche have over $51.4 million invested in 10 players. Goaltender Philipp Grubauer is due to become a UFA while defenseman Cale Makar is a restricted free agent. Re-signing both could take a significant bite out their cap space. Makar could get as much as $10 million annually.
Bally Sports Midwest’s Andy Strickland recently reported Landekog could seek between $9-$10 million annual on the open market. He’s willing to accept a hometown discount but the Avalanche must come up from their offer of eight years at between $5 million and $6 million. The Denver Post‘s Mike Chambers believes Landeskog wants a seven-year, $49-million contract from the Avs.
Landeskog won’t lack for suitors if he becomes a free agent. LeBrun thinks the St. Louis Blues and Los Angeles Kings could come calling. Strickland believes he’s interested in joining the Blues, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Vegas Golden Knights, Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Islanders.
Landing with one of those clubs, however, could be difficult. Most lack the cap space to add a high-priced free agent.