Colorado Avalanche Taking An Unfair Advantage Due To A Loophole

Tyler Ball
September 11, 2023  (6:46 PM)

The Colorado Avalanche have been trying to take advantage of one of the best core groups in the NHL to win Stanley Cups. After winning the cup in 2022 the Avalanche failed to repeat due to injuries and other factors. Now the Avalanche may be using a commonly exploited loophole to gain an advantage.

Landeskog Injury


According to several reports Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog is scheduled to be out for the entirety of the 2023-24 regular season after suffering a major knee injury. Landeskog originally suffered the injury after the 2022 season. He was supposed to try and come back for the 2023 playoffs before ultimately being ruled out
Landeskog has been dealing with this injury for over a year now. But if everything goes properly and heals Landeskog could be ready for the 2024 postseason.

LTIR Loophole

If the Colorado Avalanche want they can put Gabriel Landeskog on Long Term Injured Reserve (LTIR). With this Landeskog's salary cap hit would not apply to the overall team salary cap. Therefore the Avalanche could use the money from Landeskog's absence to improve the team.
The loophole then comes when the playoffs begin. During the NHL Playoffs teams are allowed to exceed the Salary Cap ceiling. This means that the Colorado Avalanche could have Gabriel Landeskog on LTIR all season. Then they could use the extra cap to improve the roster. Finally, they could bring Landeskog in for the playoffs. This would give the Avalanche a massive advantage heading into those playoffs if Landeskog were to truly be healthy.
If the Avs do this it will likely create an uproar from hockey fans. The Tampa Bay Lightning did something similar with Nikita Kucherov in the past and faced backlash. As we head into the 2023-24 season Landeskog's status and progress will have to be monitored by both the Avalanche and other teams around the NHL.