How to ease Landeskog back after knee surgery


Gabriel Landeskog, the captain of the Colorado Avalanche, now has missed 140 regular season games with a knee injury. Not only has Landeskog’s physical presence been missed by the team, but his leadership as well. Why will he will miss so many? Here is the timeline of the surgery and the what could happen with the team in my opinion.

Knee Surgery

It’s a story that I have told several times before, so I will keep it short. During the Edmonton Bubble, Landeskog’s knee received a slice from teammate Cale Makar. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t play in the bubble again because of the injury. Fast forward to the end of the 2021-22 season, with six weeks left in the regular season. Landeskog went under the knife in order to compete in the playoffs and win the Stanley Cup. The captain tried to work his way back for the 2022-23 season after arthroscopic surgery in October 2022, but never could. Colorado shut him down in April 2023 and he underwent knee cartilage transplant surgery in May. It has been a battle of careful rehabilitation ever since, with him joining the team last month.

How can the Avalanche bring Landeskog back?

There are a few ways that the Avalanche can bring the Swede back into the game. At the earliest, the Avalanche can bring him back because of the long-term injured reserve guidelines, will be the playoffs. Landeskog could play in game one of the first round, but it would be a bold move after two years away from game action. The reason being is that Colorado has used his salary cap hit to gain players for the year. The Avalanche were planning on Landeskog missing the entire season (at minimum), so they used his salary to gain players like Ross Colton and Miles Wood.

Before Surgery

After Surgery

Landeskog… a Colorado Eagle?

The NHLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement allows for Landeskog to be sent to the AHL on a conditioning loan. The team has the option to send him down to the Colorado Eagles without having to go through the waivers process, but the catch is that he has to consent to it. Colorado team has the option to send Landeskog down for a game or two just to test how the knee will do. The primary concern would be that he would re-injure the knee because the intensity of the gameplay ramps up just like the NHL. The longest we could see him in Loveland would be six days and three games, so it would have to be timed just right.

How to ease Landeskog back after knee surgery

Just hold off

A lot of fans are saying just to hold Landeskog off entirely until next season. I can only imagine what he is going through mentally. Any hockey player wants to get back on the ice as soon as possible. Any extra time that Landeskog takes to let his knee heal helps himself and the team down the road.


There are multiple options that the Avalanche could take in rolling the captain back into the game. Dropping him right into the NHL may not be the best thing for his long-term health. One must think about the player’s well-being after they have finished playing the game, not just while they are playing it. The best option may just be to let him wait until next season. Landeskog can ramp up intensity on the play with training camp and see how the knee reacts.

Leave a Reply