DENVER — Gabriel Landeskog has officially been shut down for the 2023 Stanley Cup playoffs, the team announced Thursday afternoon. Landeskog has missed the entire regular season rehabing from knee complications that have ailed him since 2020.

“Kind of a freak accident that happens there. Never had any knee issues before that,” Landeskog told Mile High Sports. “One thing led to the next and it just sort of progressively got worse over that next year. Start of 21-22 season it started bugging me on a daily basis. It got worse and worse up until the point that we got the first surgery. At that point I didn’t really realize the complexity of the injury and how one injury can, obviously it compensates. The body is amazing that way.”

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After scoring 30 goals in 51 regular-season games last season, Landeskog was shut down for the final 23 games of 2021-22. He ended up returning for the playoffs — appearing in all 20 games — but has not played since Colorado won the Stanley Cup on June 26 of last year.

Landeskog is confident he will return. But it’s unclear when that will be. The injury, which he shared is a cartilage injury on the bottom of the patella, could linger into next season.

“It very well could linger into next year. We’re trying to explore options right now and trying to seek the best possible expertise out there,” Landeskog said. “For me, it’s been a long road up to this point, but I’m hopeful and optimistic and confident that eventually, we’ll come out on the other side of this. But we haven’t quite got past it yet obviously.”

Sitting back and watching hasn’t been easy for the captain, who after missing Friday’s finale in Nashville, will have missed the last 105 regular season games. The 30-year-old expects to be around the team as much as possible during the playoffs. He’ll try to pitch in and help out any way he can, even if he’s not quite sure how to do that just yet.

“It’s one thing to be around the team and go through an injury in the regular season but playoffs is just a different type of focus and different type of preparation and all of that. So, I’ll be around as much as the guys want me,” he said. “Obviously, nothing will change in terms of how I act around the guys or things like that. I just might need to get up to speed on some of their superstitions as they evolve here during the playoffs. But yeah, we’ll see, we’ll figure that out as we go.

“I’m not planning to change and I know the guys aren’t planning to change the way they treat me, and I still take a lot of heat in that locker room, which is the way it should be, so that’s a positive.”

Other takeaways

  • Landeskog is unsure what the next step will be as they continue to explore all options.

We’re still in a lot of talks in terms of trying to get more information from different doctors on what the next step could be. And what, if a procedure, what that procedure would entail,” Landeskog said. “I think it’s a big decision, so it needs a lot of doing as much homework as I can on different options. But we haven’t gotten to the point yet where I know exactly what that would mean. But nonetheless, I’d like to start progressing, moving forward as fast as I can and as soon as possible. So, we’ll see when that is.”

  • Landeskog is not surprised to see the team succeed in his absence.

“You look at the month of December where I don’t even know the number of guys that were out, but it was important players as well and guys who play big minutes and have big roles on our team,” he said. “The team has been clawing and fighting and working and doing everything they can to not only stay in the race but to have a chance of winning the division, securing home ice through the first two rounds of the playoffs. I’m not surprised though. Those are guys in there that will do anything to keep proving once again that we’re a heck of a hockey team. Doesn’t matter who is in the lineup. Whoever is, they’re always ready to play. Well-coached team, we’re a hard team to play against and obviously, we’ve got some amazing seasons by a bunch of players and guys have really stepped up. It’s been fun to watch, even though it’s been tough at times watching.”