In the recent weeks there have been rumors that Colorado Avalanche captain, Gabriel Landeskog, has been placed on the trading block. In typical Jim Rutherford fashion, Pittsburgh is at the top of the possible landing spots for Landeskog. So, what will it take for GMJR to pull off yet another block bluster trade?
Landeskog, who is 24, and in the prime in his career. This deal would be a no brainier for the Pens. First in 2012, he was named captain of the Avalanche, and at that point in time he was the youngest captain in NHL history. Landeskog has proven his leadership role in Colorado, but the team seem to be going downhill, rather than upwards. From the outside looking in, it appears the Avalanche organization are looking towards, Nathan Mackinnon, as the future now. Landeskog has 7 goals, and 6 assist so far this season. Overwhelmingly having a down season, not just the captain, but the entire team; dead last in the NHL overall standings, some may argue it is time for a major change in Colorado.
This trade is not unrealistic simply because Landeskog has a reasonable contract to work with. With a young player, who is already a leader, with a $5.5 million cap , for 4 years… this is due able. The question is, who do you give up? Immediately the first player that comes to mind would be Olli Maatta. The Avalanche main problems seem to come from the back end up, starting between the pipes. Maatta seems to make the most seance for both teams. For Pittsburgh, Maatta has had a up and down career here. At times he appears to be a top paring D-Man. On the other hand, his foot speed at times does not seem to be up to par. I believe with an entire 82 game season, Maatta can improve to be a top D-Man. Maatta, making a bit over $4 million over the next 6 years is a very reasonable cap hit for any team, especially with the potential he truly does have. In addition to, Maatta, a player like Eric Fehr could possibly be added to sweeten the deal a bit. Fehr has been in and out of the lineup for the Pens this season (2016-17), but could fit well in the Avalanche lineup as a role player who can also net some goals in his own respect. With a $2 million cap hit, I would want that $2 million to be in the lineup, not sitting in the stands watching. With just those two players it makes the trade for Landeskog possible money wise.
I just hope whatever happens the Penguins do not over pay. Is this trade necessary? Probably not, but Landeskog could help the Pens with another Stanley Cup run this postseason.