Extension talks underway between Avs, Johnson


The latest on contract negotiations between Colorado and No. 1 defenseman Erik Johnson, per the Denver Post:

[Head coach Patrick] Roy said negotiations for a contract extension with Johnson, the team’s only all-star last season, have been going well, although Roy is not directly involved.

Johnson, 27, is in the last of a four-year, $15 million deal with a $3.75M average annual cap hit.

The former No. 1 overall pick will almost certainly get a significant raise with his new deal. Johnson really seemed to take his game to a new level last season, scoring a career-high 12 goals while averaging a career-high 24:25 before a knee injury ended his campaign in January.

This is a very big contract for both Colorado and Johnson. The Avs don’t have a ton of depth on defense and no real blue-chip prospects on the horizon, so getting Johnson extended is a priority.

Johnson, meanwhile, is on the verge of hitting unrestricted free agency for the first time in eight-year career, so you can bet he’ll be looking to cash in — especially after the monster deals signed by Calgary’s Mark Giordano (six years, $40.5 million) and Dion Phaneuf (seven years, $49 million), who were both older than Johnson when they signed their extensions.