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Landeskog, Karlsson mull NHL Awards wardrobe

by Dan Rosen /

LAS VEGAS -- Skinny tie or bow tie?

Ah yes, the difficult wardrobe decisions a 19-year-old superstar athlete has to make in Las Vegas.

"I don't know if I have the guts to rock a bow tie," Colorado forward Gabriel Landeskog said Tuesday from the John Varvatos store inside Caesars Palace, where he was being fitted for the suit he will wear Wednesday to the 2012 NHL Awards show.

Landeskog, one of three finalists for the Calder Trophy, agonized over his neckwear for more than 20 minutes while fellow Swede and Norris Trophy finalist Erik Karlsson of Ottawa was getting his new threads tailored to his specifications -- without any fuss, mind you.


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"I'm taking my time with this," Landeskog said in defense of himself.

And why wouldn't he?

A year ago, Landeskog was wondering what the NHL was going to be like and which team he would play for. Now he's being fitted for an eye-catching suit to wear to an awards show, where he will walk the red carpet and perhaps take home a trophy last won by an Avalanche player in 1999, when Chris Drury was given the Calder.

"I don't think I would classify myself as a celebrity," said Landeskog, who had 52 points in his first season, "but I guess it is every kid's dream to be in my shoes, so I'm very fortunate and I'm trying to have fun with it."

Landeskog and Karlsson are among the eight NHL celebrities who will be wearing a suit from the John Varvatos store inside Caesars.

Vezina Trophy finalists Jonathan Quick and Pekka Rinne, Flyers center Claude Giroux (a finalist for the EA Sports NHL 13 cover athlete), Kings captain and Bridgestone Messier Leadership Award finalist Dustin Brown, and NHL Network analyst Kevin Weekes were fitted for their new duds on Tuesday. Jennings Trophy winner Brian Elliott had his fitting Monday.

Karlsson, who admits he's interested in fashion and likes to shop, was still trying to comprehend how he got here as he was picking out his blue suit.

"It's something I wanted to do, become one of the best defensemen in the NHL, but I didn't know if I had it in me," said Karlsson, who led all blueliners with 78 points in 81 games this season. "It was always one of my main goals to be considered among the best in the League, but I didn't count on it being this early. It's going by pretty fast."

Landeskog feels the same way. His year, from being a draft prospect to the No. 2 pick to rookie of the year candidate, has flown by. Though he may not think he has earned some celebrity status, Twitter told a different story Tuesday.

It took less than three minutes after the NHL Twitter account (@NHL) posted the question of whether Landeskog should wear the skinny tie or the bow tie for more than 150 followers to respond. When Landeskog posed the same question on his Twitter account (@GabeLandeskog92), he also received about 100 responses in a matter of minutes.

Seventy percent of Landeskog's followers said he should go with the bow tie. He wasn't so sure.

"We'll keep it a secret for now," Landeskog said.

Decisions, decisions.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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