It’s already been a busy summer for the Colorado Avalanche, and they can cross one more item off of their to-do list.
Several reports have stated that the team will announce a contract extension for defenseman Erik Johnson within the next couple of days, most likely on Tuesday.
The terms of the deal have yet to be disclosed, but it is expected to be in the four to five-year range. Given the fact that his offensive production has declined, you’d hope his salary will see a slight dip from that $3 million he made last season, but given the market, I wouldn’t count on it.
Johnson was on the market as a restricted free agent, having just completed his first full year with the Avalanche. He appeared in 73 games with the Avs last season, posting just 26 points for the year. His physical game did see a jump, though, as he recorded 123 hits on the season, setting a career high.
A former no. 1 overall pick of the St. Louis Blues back in 2006, Johnson has been a mighty disappointment in his years with the Blues and Avs. He missed the entire 2008 season with a knee injury and hasn’t really been able to put his game together. Still just 24, though, Colorado is hoping that he can find his game with them.
Given his history, extending him to the tune of four or five years is definitely a risk for the Avalanche. But they’ve shown this summer that they want to keep much of the young parts of their roster intact and keeping Johnson around on the blue line does make sense. If the cap hit sees much of an increase, however, there is definitely room to question the signing.
Nonetheless, Erik Johnson is just another signing in a busy, but positive, offseason for the Colorado Avalanche, as they look to get the club back on track.