The Colorado Avalanche will begin their defense of Lord Stanley's Cup on October 12 against the Chicago Blackhawks. The champions will begin their title defense without one of their best players, however.
Avalanche head coach Jan Bednar confirmed to the media recently that Gabriel Landeskog will miss the start of the season. While there is no timeline for a return, Bednar did note that Landeskog is not likely to skate anytime soon.
“‘Landy' is dealing with an injury from last season, lower body, and he's not ready to go,” the Avalanche head coach said. “We don't have a timetable yet for putting him on the ice.”
The injury Landeskog sustained last season caused him to undergo surgery on March 14. He missed the final 23 games of the regular season, but the Avalanche star did return for the team's playoff run.
And Landeskog thrived in the playoffs. The Avalanche captain scored 11 goals and 22 points in 20 games as they won the Stanley Cup over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Despite missing games, Landeskog had a nice season last year when he was on the ice. In 51 regular season games, the Avalanche star had 30 goals and 59 points.
Landeskog's 2021-22 season was the first of a new eight-year extension signed last offseason. The deal paid the team captain an annual average value of $7 million.
However, Landeskog is not the only Avalanche player missing time. Forward Valeri Nichushkin, who just signed a massive extension of his own, is out with a lower-body injury of his own. The team is also without veteran Darren Helm due to injury and Josh Manson because of the birth of his child.