The young captain of the Colorado Avalanche, Gabriel Landeskog, is currently playing in the World Championships in his hometown of Stockholm. Landeskog has scored three goals in six games played so far.
Hockeysverige’s editor in chief Uffe Bodin interviewed Landeskog on video a few days ago. A translation of the interview is found below.
About being the youngest captain for a struggling team:
”I learned a lot about myself and the team, and about leadership. When things are so up and down, it’s not easy to know how to deal with them as a captain. There were a lot of team meetings. A lot to learn about how to act like a captain, what to say and how to deal with some situations. How to deal with the coach and how to be the go-between between the coach and the team. That is something you learn with time and I think I made a lot of progress in that regard in just 3-4 months time. I’m already looking forward to next year and hopefully I will learn just as much next year.”
About if things got messy for the team, with Jiggy’s comments and Ryan O’Reilly’s contract situation:
”No, I wouldn’t say that, but when Jiggy (Jean-Sebastien Giguere) said that in the media after one of the games at the end, of course things got a bit messy. We had some team meetings to sort things out.”
”We on the team didn’t think the O’Reilly situation was that big of a deal. Everyone came to the training camp and nobody there talked about it. Of course we wanted him back as soon as possible but we realized the magnitude of the situation and that we had to play and win games without him.”
”It felt good to get him back, and by the time he got back, we had won as many games as we had lost. We had put ourselves in a decent situation by the time he got back. I don’t think the O’Reilly situation affected us as much as the fact that we were so much up and down during the season. That was the thing that made it a rough season.”
About his concussion:
”It was my first concussion and it was hard to get back after that. I went two weeks without doing anything at all. You can’t send messages to your parents, girlfriend or your friends or whomever.
Your eyes are light sensitive, and you get annoyed at every little thing. I mean if there was no milk in the fridge you get irritated about that. Really, it’s everything, that you can’t do anything, you can’t read books and you can’t watch TV, so it was really frustrating. Since I never been through it before I didn’t know how to handle it.
If you look at the physical side of things, you went two weeks without doing anything. If you look at how it is in the summer you never go more than 3-4 weeks without doing anything in the summer, and that’s the off season.
But this was during the season and I had to go two weeks without any symptoms. It was hard to get back into game shape under those circumstances, but I think I did a pretty good job with it.
I missed playing the game a lot of course. But it’s inevitable that after missing two weeks like that a lot of things are a little bit off and the timing isn’t what it should be. You have to play catch up and that is time you don’t have in a shortened season.”
- Photo: Michael Martin (nhl.com)
About having a kid named after him:
”Yeah, during warm-ups I saw a sign in the crowd that said that someone named their kid after me. It’s not a long time ago that I was a kid that looked up to NHL players, and now they name their kids after me. It’s pretty unreal. Things like that make you realize that you are in a special situation, that you have the ability to affect people’s lives like that. It’s pretty cool actually.”