Colorado Avalanche: Plan for Getting Nathan MacKinnon a Stanley Cup

ST. LOUIS, MO - MARCH 15: Nathan MacKinnon
ST. LOUIS, MO - MARCH 15: Nathan MacKinnon /
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Colorado Avalanche Stay their Course on Defense

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*Whisper: The Colorado Avalanche don’t look too bad on defense.

I whisper that because for years the defense has been the bane of Colorado’s existence. It was made up of journeymen and aging veterans. That’s no longer true, and the Avs need to stay the course to develop a Cup-worthy defense.

Right now, the Avalanche have four cornerstones. They have their actual cornerstone defenseman in Erik Johnson — more on him in a moment. They have his heir-apparent in Nikita Zadorov. They have their best offensive defenseman in Tyson Barrie and his heir-apparent, as a puck-moving D anyway, in Sam Girard.

That ain’t bad, Avs Nation. Right now they’re augmenting that core with journeymen, but we all know what’s coming up the pipeline — two more offensive defensemen with a gift for puck moving, Conor Timmins (joining the team at the beginning of the year) and Cale Makar (likely joining the team at the end of the year).

A note about journeymen — you need one or two as seventh and eighth defensemen in case of injury. Colorado’s not too poorly stacked with the likes of Anton Lindholm, Josh Anderson and Nicolas Meloche, who just won the Kelly Cup in the ECHL incidentally.

The note about Erik Johnson: This is a ten-year plan. The 30-year-old Johnson has five years left on his contract. I’d love to see my favorite player get a Cup with my favorite team, but that might be pushing it. Sadly, the Colorado Avalanche better start planning on how they’ll replace his impressive two-way play.

And now on to the biggest deficit the Avs need to solve.