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Report: Gabriel Landeskog Interested in Avs, Lightning, Golden Knights in Free Agency

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJuly 16, 2021

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Veteran winger Gabriel Landeskog is reportedly interested in several teams if he is unable to come to terms on a new contract with the Colorado Avalanche.

According to Andy Strickland of Bally Sports Midwest, the Tampa Bay Lightning, Vegas Golden Knights, Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Islanders, St. Louis Blues and Florida Panthers are among the teams on the impending free agent's wish list.

Landeskog, 28, was the No. 2 overall pick by the Avalanche in the 2011 NHL draft, and he has spent his entire 10-year NHL career in Colorado.

The Swedish star figures to be one of the top players available in free agency on the heels of some of the most productive seasons of his career.

In 2018-19, Landeskog set career highs with 34 goals and 41 assists for 75 points over 73 games. He was also named an All-Star for the first and only time in his career to date.

He followed that up with 44 points in 54 games the following season and then experienced another spike in production in 2020-21 with 20 goals and 32 assists for 52 points in 54 games.

The 2011-12 Calder Trophy winner as NHL rookie of the year has played a significant role in the Avalanche reaching the playoffs in each of the past four seasons, and he is a key leader for the team as well, having been the captain since 2012.

In addition to his leadership, Landeskog is a big-time point producer with 218 goals and 294 assists for 512 points in 687 career regular-season games.

He is also known for being a responsible defensive player with a career rating of plus-50 and a double-digit plus rating in three of the past four seasons.

The Avs have not yet broken through and reached a Stanley Cup Final during Landeskog's career, but they are clearly on the brink after winning the Presidents' Trophy as the NHL's top regular-season team in 2020-21.

Most of the teams mentioned by Strickland as potential landing spots for Landeskog are among the top organizations in the NHL.

The Lightning are the two-time reigning Stanley Cup champions and the Golden Knights have made it to at least the conference finals in three of their four seasons in existence.

The Islanders have reached the conference finals in each of the past two seasons as well, and the Blues won the Stanley Cup in 2019.

Toronto has reached the playoffs in each of the past five seasons, losing in the first round each time, although Landeskog could be the type of signing that helps put them over the top.

The Panthers are a team on the rise with back-to-back playoff appearances, and they even finished ahead of the Lightning in the Central Division this season.

Landeskog is a do-everything player that winning teams are built on, and he would be not only a huge gain for whichever team signs him, but a massive loss for the Avs if they are unable to retain him.

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