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)

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


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.

Avs unveil new third jerseys

Avs Jerseys

The Avalanche will be throwing a bunch of different looks at us this season.

Having already released specialized “Mile High” jerseys for February’s Stadium Series game, the Avs unveiled new third sweaters on Friday — less than 24 hours after a bitter 5-4 home loss to Minnesota in their season opener.

(Guess Colorado wanted to send out some good vibes after blowing a 4-1 third-period lead.)

While undoubtedly exciting for the organization, the release of these new thirds isn’t taking anybody by surprise. Last month, several websites published leaked images of Colorado’s and Anaheim’s third jerseys, so the design has been in the public eye for several weeks.

The Avs will debut these new thirds on Oct. 24, in a Saturday night tilt against Columbus.

Related: Roy explains why he didn’t call time out

Report: Escrow set at 16 percent

Gary Bettman, Donald Fehr
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Hey, remember in June when the NHLPA voted to keep the five-percent growth factor in spite of increasing worries about escrow?

Well, here’s why that decision was a significant one, via TSN’s Frank Seravalli:

With early revenue projections in place, the NHL and NHLPA set the escrow withholding rate for players at 16 per cent for the first quarter of the season on Thursday.

That means every player will have 16 per cent of earnings deducted from their paycheque and put aside until after all of this season’s hockey-related revenue is counted to ensure a perfect 50-50 revenue split with owners.

Now, this doesn’t mean that the players will definitely lose 16 percent of their salaries. Typically, they receive refunds when all the accounting is done.

Still, 16 percent is a good-sized chunk to withhold. They won’t be thrilled about it.

Related: To understand escrow, consider Duncan Keith