It once seemed like Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog and former Avalanche forward Matt Duchene were destined to lead the Avalanche to place where they would be perennial playoff contenders, but that never truly materialized in their time together.
While the two men have never spoken ill of one another, at least not publicly, on Thursday for the very first time Landeskog appeared to take a parting shot at Duchene when he was discussing the current direction of the Avalanche with him in the line up.
Speaking with Avalanche insider Adrian Dater, Landeskog at first appeared to give a rather generic answer regarding whether or not the departure of Duchene had helped cement his role as team captain.
“I don’t think it’s more my team any more than it was three weeks ago, necessarily," said Landeskog as per the Denver Post. "It’s our team as a group, and yeah, I have the ‘C’ on my chest. But I think, generally with this young group that we’ve got, it’s kind of forced me to take another step and maybe sometimes being more vocal now,” said Landeskog, whose nine goals in 20 games puts him on a pace for 37.9 goals, which would be a career high. “There’s so many guys in here without much experience. But other than that I’m still just trying to be me, trying to lead by example and do my job."
However it was towards the end of his response when Landeskog was expanding on his response that he seemed to imply a bit of jab at his former teammate.
“We thought we were young at the start of the season, but we’re even younger now,” he said. “And I see that as a positive thing, a good thing. It’s a fun challenge. I thought we did a great job of not letting the distractions (of the Duchene situation), the headlines and the social media, get the best of us. We’re growing together, and we’re growing in the right direction. Everybody here wants to be here, wants to win and be part of the solution."
Perhaps we are reading too much into his comments, but "everybody here wants to be here, wants to win and be part of the solution," sound very much like a comment that was aimed at the Avalanche's former star center.