NHL Notebook: Colorado Avalanche’s Gabriel Landeskog to miss playoffs, Chicago Blackhawks won’t re-sign Jonathan Toews, and more

Photo credit:Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
7 months ago
The Colorado Avalanche will be without captain Gabriel Landeskog for the entirety of the 2023 playoffs, the club announced Thursday.
Landeskog has already missed all of the regular season rehabilitating a knee injury, and was a question mark to play in game one of the Avalanche’s post-season. But now, those questions have been set aside.
He had already missed time during the 2021-22 season with the injury, but gutted it our playing in all 20 games en route to a Stanley Cup championship. Landeskog had scored 11 goals and 22 points during their run.

Chicago won’t re-sign Toews

The Chicago Blackhawks announced Thursday they wouldn’t be re-signing captain Jonathan Toews.
With that, Toews will play in his final game with the Chicago Blackhawks later tonight — a home matchup against the Philadelphia Flyers. It’s also very realistic that this could be Toews’ final NHL game as a whole. He missed significant time this season due to Long COVID.
Here’s some of what Daily Faceoff’s Steven Ellis wrote:
The Blackhawks are the only NHL team he has ever played for after getting taken third overall in 2006. Toews burst onto the scene in 2007-08 and made an immediate impact, recording 24 goals (most by a rookie) and 54 points en rotue to being named a Calder Trophy finalist. He then was named captain in his second season and helped the Hawks qualify for the playoffs for just the second time in a 10-year span.
Toews was integral to the team’s three Stanley Cup championships from 2010 to 15. The 2010 season saw him help Canada win gold at the Vancouver Winter Olympics before scoring 29 points in the Stanley Cup playoffs, good to earn him the Conn Smythe Trophy. Toews also joined the Triple Gold Club after winning gold at the 2007 World Junior Championship.
From there, Toews established himself as one of the best players in the game. He won his second Stanley Cup in 2012-13 and won the Selke Trophy as the league’s best defensive forward. Toews won Olympic gold again in 2014 before winning his third and final Stanley Cup in 2015 to cap off the Blackhawks’ dynasty. Toews last won gold at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, and managed to break the 80-point barrier for the first time in 2018-19.
Toews sat out the 2020-21 season due to health concerns, and later saw his overall game drop the following year. He again missed significant time this season amidst rumors he was on the trade block. Toews returned to the lineup after dealing with symptoms of long COVID on April 1 and has remained with the team ever since.

Will the Penguins fire Ron Hextall?

The Pittsburgh Penguins will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2006 this year, and questions about Ron Hextall’s future as GM are running rampant.
Hextall’s struggled to get this team to where it needed to be, and as Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli wrote, fans were chanting for him to be fired this season:
Chants of “Fire Hextall” emanated in PPG Paints Arena this week for at least the third time this season as the Pittsburgh Penguins punctured their own playoff hopes with a loss to the 31st place Chicago Blackhawks. This spring marks the first time since 2006, when Sidney Crosby was 19, that the Pens won’t have a ticket to the dance. Sources said there were strong indications Fenway Sports Group was beginning to put the wheels in motion for a complete change in Penguins leadership, which is likely to also include president of hockey operations Brian Burke. Fenway purchased the Pens in 2021, inheriting Hextall and Burke. Hextall’s track record as GM is abysmal: In seven seasons, his teams have made the playoffs four times and not won a single round. The postseason appearances are not as strong as they seem: two of them were with Penguins rosters he was handed. Hextall’s trade deadline was disastrous: Mikael Granlund, Nick Bonino and Dmitry Kulikov all hurt the team. And recent re-signings Jeff Carter (38), Evgeni Malkin (35), Kris Letang (35) will have the proud Pens feeling pain for years to come with no opening in sight to return to the playoff mix.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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