Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 08/16/13 at 11:36 AM ET
The Colorado Avalanche signed Gabriel Landeskog to a 7-year, $39 million contract extension on Thursday, and as such, the Denver Post's Adrian Dater duly notes that the Avalnache's captain has to become the centerpiece of the rebuilding Avalanche's crop of youthful stars:
"I wanted a long-term deal. I want to stay in Denver. I want to win a Cup in Denver," Landeskog said in a phone interview from his hometown of Stockholm.
With former Avs greats Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy now running the franchise, Landeskog believes in the team's direction.
"It's a humbling thing to know that two Hall of Famers believe in you," he said. "Things have been moving really quickly the last couple years, but for the Kroenke family and the management to believe in me feels good. Now it's up to me to respond and prove myself again, and I'm looking forward to spending a long time in Denver and bringing the Cup back to Denver."
Landeskog, the 2012 Calder Trophy winner as NHL rookie of the year, will make $3.575 million this coming season to conclude his three-year entry-level contract. His cap hit over the ensuing seven years will be $5.571 million, just below what 22-year-old center Matt Duchene ($6 million) will get through 2018-19.
Duchene, whose contract was scheduled to expire after this coming season, agreed to a five-year, $30 million extension last month in Sakic and Roy's first major veteran signing. Landeskog and Duchene are the only Avs under contract in 2016-17 and beyond, but forwards P.A. Parenteau, Alex Tanguay, 2013 No. 1 draft choice Nathan MacKinnon and defenseman Erik Johnson are among seven players locked in over the next three seasons.
"(Sakic and Roy) are making a big statement here that they're trying to build a young core and grow together as a team and move this organization to where it belongs — the top — so it's exciting," Landeskog said.
"Gabe is and will continue to be a large part of the foundation of this hockey team for many years to come," Sakic, the executive vice president of hockey operations, said in a team release. "Signing our captain to a long-term extension demonstrates the commitment of Stan and Josh Kroenke to this franchise and to our fan base."
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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