Make it official: Erik Johnson signs with Colorado — 4 years, $15 million

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It was reported last night that the Colorado Avalanche and restricted free agent Erik Johnson were getting close to finalizing a deal, and today they’ve put pen to paper.

The Avs announced they’ve reached an agreement with Johnson to a four-year contract. Mike Chambers of the Denver Post reports the deal is worth $15 million, good for a $3.75 million cap hit.

Johnson, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2006 draft by St. Louis, was acquired by Colorado two seasons ago in a blockbuster deal that sent Chris Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk to the Blues. Johnson seemed to grow up and into his game upon reaching Denver and helps make this already cap-friendly deal even better for the Avs.

Taking this deal and matching it up to the two-year contract the Avs signed Matt Duchene to, you have to start wondering if GM Greg Sherman might just be a salary cap wizard or has some magic tricks up his sleeve when it comes to keeping his own guys. That’s a lot of talent signed on for a reasonable number of years and (potentially) below market value.