Even though they defeated the Habs 4-0 on my birthday, the Colorado Avalanche find themselves last place in the Central Division, last place in the Western Conference, and ultimately sitting at the bottom of the NHL standings with just 32 points in 51 games (15-34-2).
With an unquestionable overhaul on it’s way, it is virtually guaranteed that either Nolan Patrick or Nico Hischier will be hearing their named called by the Avalanche at the 2017 NHL Draft. This has lead general manager Joe Sakic to be seemingly inclined to part with any player on the Avalanche roster whose name isn’t Nathan MacKinnon, Tyson Jost or Mikko Rantanen. This would permit captain Gabriel Landeskog to be obtainable.
What does this mean for the Montreal Canadiens? Marc Bergevin has the opportunity to obtain a Calder Memorial Trophy winning two-way winger with size, that can play big minutes with an edge and who can also put up points. A player who would immediately enhance the Habs top six, and make them that much more challenging to play against.
Landeskog has scored 10 goals, while adding 11 assists in 41 games this season. His numbers that aren’t off the charts, but neither is his team’s overall record. That said, it’s not something that is exceedingly alarming considering he has scored 20+ goals every season he’s been in the league, and was on pace to do so during the abbreviated 2012-2013 season. His best season stats-wise was in 2013-2014, where he would score 26 goals, adding 39 assists for 65 points.
When it comes to a contract, Landeskog has four years left on a deal with an average annual value (AAV) of $5.57M. According to CapFriendly, his contract does not incorporate a no-move clause (NMC) nor a no-trade clause (NTC), which leaves the Avalanche in control of his future.
The Habs would have to make a significant offer to Colorado to acquire Landeskog, but they may not have to pay as much as it would cost to procure Matt Duchene. This could lead them to not have to give up top defensive prospect Mikhail Sergachev as part of a deal.
One name that would almost certainly be involved in any sort of trade would encompass Nathan Beaulieu as a key piece of the deal, another prospect, and a draft pick. The Habs currently have their first round pick, and two picks in the second round of the 2017 draft.
Your guess is as good as mine when it comes to a bundle that Marc Bergevin could piece together. Prospects such as Sven Andrighetto, Charles Hudon, Nikita Scherbak, Noah Juulsen, Charlie Lindgren, and Michael McNiven could all be available as a player like Landeskog does not hit the market often.
What are your thoughts, Habs fans? Should the Montreal Canadiens be interested in Gabriel Landeskog or should they target another player, such as teammate Matt Duchene?