The Avalanche could be without two-thirds of its top line in Saturday’s second game of the season after the NHL Department of Player Safety requested a hearing with left wing and team captain Gabe Landeskog about his boarding minor late in Wednesday’s opener against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Landeskog checked vulnerable Blackhawks forward Kirby Dach against the dasher boards with 3:34 remaining in the third period, causing a significant scrum and sending Landeskog to the dressing room with boarding and roughing minors.
At the time of the hit, Landeskog was on the ice with linemates Nazem Kadri and Mikko Rantanen.
“I’d say I haven’t seen a replay of the hit,” Rantanen said Thursday during an optional practice. “It happened quick when I saw it, so I don’t really have a comment to see how that hit was. But I guess the league will take a look and we’ll find out tonight.”
The Avs, who played without top-line center Nathan MacKinnon (COVID protocol), won the game 4-2. They host the Blues on Saturday night before beginning a three-game trip on the East Coast at Washington on Monday.
Landeskog, who signed an eight-year, $56 million extension with the Avs in the offseason, has been suspended by the league three times but is not considered a repeat offender because his last incident was beyond 18 months ago. However, the league notes that “even if a player is not defined as a repeat offender, his past history may come into consideration when determining future supplemental discipline.”
— Two games in 2011 for an illegal check to the head on Boston’s Brad Marchand.
— Three games in 2016 for cross-check to the head of Anaheim’s Simon Despres.
— Four games in 2017 for a cross-check to the head of Calgary’s Matthew Tkachuk.
“Obviously, we hope he doesn’t get suspended but it’s sort of out of our hands now,” said Avs forward Logan O’Connor, who saw the hit from the bench. “So we’ll see what the league has to say in regard to the hearing and go forward from there.”
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