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Report: Avs will ink Erik Johnson to 4-5 year extension Tuesday

Jul 2, 2012, 10:24 PM EDT

Erik Johnson #6 of the Colorado Avalanche controls the puck against the Anaheim Ducks at the Pepsi Center on March 12, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Ducks 3-2 in overtime.
(March 11, 2012 - Source: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

Josh Rimer is reporting that the Colorado Avalanche will ink Erik Johnson to a four-to-five year contract extension on Tuesday. Beyond that, the terms of the deal aren’t clear.

Assuming the report is true, Erik Johnson will become the latest in a long line of Avalanche restricted free agents to re-sign over the summer, including Matt Duchene, Steve Downie, and Ryan Wilson.

Johnson was the first overall pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft and looked great in his rookie season. However, Johnson missed his entire sophomore campaign due to a knee injury and his career has been rocky ever since. His 2009-10 comeback campaign went smoothly enough, but his offensive production has steadily declined to the point where he had just 26 points in 73 games last season.

Johnson has plenty of talent, but if the Avalanche are truly signing him to a four-to-five year deal, then they’re taking a significant risk. Of course, how much of a risk that will be is entirely dependent on the cap hit.

  1. dumptrucked - Jul 2, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    Who gives… Come on Parise, make your damn decision… This is pure agony

    • tru2joelu4eva - Jul 2, 2012 at 10:56 PM

      he’s officially not signing with your team.

  2. lordfletcher - Jul 2, 2012 at 11:56 PM

    I honestly do not know what Colorado is doing any more… Not saying this is the worst deal but have you really seen enough to warrant a 4-5 year extension ???????? Some serious questionable decisions have been made in the past 3 years.

    I think all of the allure of Colorado is going out the door for free agents. All that was built from the cup winners is pretty much gone. Sorry Avalanche fans. I could easily be wrong but it’s just my opinion and not saying things are THAT much better here in MN… unless we get Parise / Suter ;) lol

    - Wild fan

    • polegojim - Jul 3, 2012 at 7:55 AM

      Exactly true. Far too much talent has passed though the Avs doors, only to decline in production and results AFTER getting to CO.

      Equally true – far too much talent has been traded away and contributing elsewhere.

      Player development IS the CO issue. I can’t remember one player in the past 10 years who’s best has been brought out through the Avs system.

  3. spetznaz777 - Jul 2, 2012 at 11:57 PM

    havent seen EJ since STL days. is he still awful turning over the puck in the offensive zone? how long is Colorado gna wait on him?

    • spetznaz777 - Jul 3, 2012 at 12:12 AM

      colorado thanks for stew and shattenkirk, theyve become somewhat usefull.

  4. dhawks19 - Jul 3, 2012 at 12:10 AM

    The Avs got ripped off in that trade they traded Kevin shattenkirk a very talented defensman with a lot of potential and chris stewart a good power forward for Erik Johnson and jay Mcclement whos not on their team anymore

    • theawesomersfranchise - Jul 3, 2012 at 12:15 AM

      If Chris Stewart was actually a good power forward like he was looking like he could be yes, but he isn’t

      • tru2joelu4eva - Jul 3, 2012 at 12:16 AM

        exactly

  5. tru2joelu4eva - Jul 3, 2012 at 12:15 AM

    there’s a whole lotta not knowing what people are talking’ about going on here…. chris stewart epitomizes “bust” and jay-mac was a great 4-th line center that wanted (maybe deservingly?) more responsibility, and he wasn’t going to get it on an avs team that’s stacked down the middle (stastny, duchene, o’rielly). Erik johnson has shown he can be a #1 guy, he’s just been inconsistent. i’ve been watching the avs since they moved to colorado and i have faith in erik johnson. period.

    • spetznaz777 - Jul 3, 2012 at 3:14 AM

      i disagree because what would the avs at this period of time know what is a bust or a good player? they give up stew and shattenkirk for *peanuts* (johnson and mclement) then let brian elliot go (allstar as a backup) get semyon varmalov (oooo look what hes done) then give away winnik and galiardi for ok ill give you mcginn. then duchene has had a down year. statsny is unhealthy and in decline. now they go out and get a bunch of old men (parentau) (zanon) (obrien) (brookbank). pete statsny comes out and goes “wtf are you doing” and now look at where they are, out of contention. at the end of the day they will probably lose statsny and duchene if they dont start winning.

      • colavs19 - Jul 3, 2012 at 8:48 AM

        Brian Elliott was simply terrible when playing in an Avs uniform. We gave him a shot, and by no means did his play warrant a contract extension. He had good form this year, and that coupled with the notoriously stingy St. Louis defense were what allowed him to post “All-Star” numbers. Varlamov took some time to find his form but you can’t deny that he was one of the hottest goaltenders in the league during the last few months of the season. He’s a young goalie who built up some confidence at the end of the season, so we’ll just have to see if he carries that over to ’12-’13. And we “gave away” Winnik and Galiardi? Are you serious? That trade was an absolute steal for Colorado. We got McGinn who has enormous potential, and you fail to mention that we also obtained Sgarbossa in that deal (lead the OHL in points this past year). Parentau is hardly an old man, the guy is barely 30 I think. And in case you didn’t notice, the Avs have one of the youngest rosters in the league. What’s wrong with adding a little experience? Ask Detroit about how a bunch of “old men” work out for them. And by no means should we worry about losing Duchene. The guy took less money than David Jones because he wants to stay in Colorado and prove himself here.

        If you honestly think that this Colorado team is on the decline, you’re in for a surprise this season.

      • polegojim - Jul 3, 2012 at 9:47 AM

        @colavs…. the Avs have been in decline and/or completely inconsistent for 10 years.
        95 68 95 69 88 – and their ‘youth movement/so-called rebuilding’ is failing miserably.

        I HOPE the Avs are not in decline anymore… they’ve declined so far down, they’re not even remotely a threat.

        As you insinuated, they can ONLY go up.

      • lordfletcher - Jul 3, 2012 at 10:07 AM

        @ colavs19

        huh?! Yes, I see the Avs decline continuing… They haven’t added enough pieces to predict more wins this season. I think they will be close to a .500 team but not making the playoffs is an easy bet to make for anyone not living in Colorado

      • jernster21 - Jul 3, 2012 at 11:34 AM

        I’ve been hating on Johnson since the trade but even I will acknowledge significant improvement in his game the last half of last season. The kid is still young and MOST defensemen don’t find their nitch in the NHL until their mid 20′s. There’s a lot of pressure being the 1st overall pick, even more so being a defenseman – I’m not saying I’m sold on Johnson yet, but I think if he continues on the path he was on toward the last season he can certainly be the backbone of our blue line for years to come. I think for Johnson his biggest issue is trying to play up to the hype of what he SHOULD be instead of just playing his game and letting things happen…there’s a ton of pressure on him to be this huge offensive force when he should be focus more on being defensively sound and then, and only then trying to capatalize on the offensive opportunities. The points are going to come; you have to figure the opportunities to do so will only increase after a season in which the Avs had the least amount of power play opportunities of any team by a significant margin. Guys like McClement are a dime a dozen – while being effective on the PK, you can find other 4th line centerman good on draws that kill penalties. Not to mention he was a total bust the rest of the season after the trade happened. Oh, and our 1st round draft pick from the trade wasn’t bad either, we’ll have to see how that turns out down the road. Don’t act like there was a freakin’ line of people waiting to pick up Brian Elliott after the end of the season with the Avs. He was on the verge of being on his way out of the NHL signing a two way deal with the Blues – obviously he had something to prove and I’m glad he did. And the Avs basically fleeced the Sharks on the McGinn / Winnik/Galiardi trade. Galiardi isn’t too far out from being on his way out of the NHL if he doesn’t pick up his game and the Sharks aren’t even going to resign Winnik from the looks of it, and he was the best piece in that trade for the Sharks while McGinn proved he can put the puck in the net playing meaningful minutes in addition to a couple prospects, one being one of the Sharks top prospects if not THEE top prospect they had.

        Anyway, does anyone know which goalie was in net for their teams World Chamionship team? Oh right, that was Semyon Varlamov, the Avs are on the right track.

    • polegojim - Jul 3, 2012 at 9:43 AM

      It’s NOT Erik that I question – it’s the Avs ability to develop, augment, and maximize their talented youth.

      Not one thing in a number of years has proven that they have the staff or system in place to do it.

  6. charleslouis99 - Jul 3, 2012 at 1:45 AM

    I wouldn’t call Chris Stewart a bust he’s streaky like most power forwards he had an off year because of conditioning issues I’m sure hitch will make him better next year

    • spetznaz777 - Jul 3, 2012 at 3:17 AM

      i dunno if its a conditioning issue, the problem is once he broke his hand he hasnt been the same. he plays too safe, too cautious, then once he tries to break out of that funk he gets suspended for hitting kronwall. i hope he doesnt turn into dustin penner but i think he should just go all in this year get as much goals and fights and points as he desires and if he messes up early you trade him for a bottom six or a pick

  7. broadstbully33 - Jul 3, 2012 at 9:12 AM

    I would take EJ for philly. I know he is not worthy of the 1st overall status but he has good size,mobility and wouldnt have to be a number 1 or 2

  8. ymann19 - Jul 3, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    Everyone seems to forget the Blues gave a #1 draft pick also. I believe around the 12th pick.

    • tru2joelu4eva - Jul 3, 2012 at 12:54 PM

      11th pick which was duncan siemens (who draws scott stevens comparisons)

  9. tru2joelu4eva - Jul 3, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    i really think that a lot of people underestimate the avs. they were on fire towards the second half of the season last year, they just sucked so bad at times early on and all of january it’s really easy to overlook. i will be very surprised if they miss the playoffs again. they may not have any mega-stars but they are now a well-rounded team that truckloads of potential. not to mention that management has successfully weeded out every player with a bad attitude (see chris stewart and his work ethic and healthy scratches/4th line demotions in stl). i honestly believe that you are mistaken if you think this team has not acquired the pieces to become a competitive franchise for years to come.

    • tru2joelu4eva - Jul 3, 2012 at 1:03 PM

      just because they aren’t at the point yet where parise or suter will look at them doesn’t mean they won’t have that offseason. it’s just a year or two away. remember chicago’s core had to prove themselves before they landed hossa. it’ll happen, just not this year.

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