Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson won the fans’ choice award for best hockey smile. It’s the right call.
Colorado Avalanche alternate captain Erik Johnson has the best smile. it’s not just me who says so. It’s official. Fans voted, and EJ was found to have the best hockey smile.
The NHL held a Fans’ Choice Awards. Avalanche players were up for some of the awards. The closest to winning, besides the actual winner, was for best gif. It was captain Gabriel Landeskog photo-bombing Johnson. A Capitals gif won by, literally, .02% If only I’d voted one more time!
Here’s the gif that the Avalanche put out that the NHL used for the best hockey smile competition:
Oh, yeah, that’s the smile.
As an Avalanche, EJ has always had the hockey smile, characterized by the lack of teeth. Players lose teeth in numerous ways, usually an errant puck or stick. Even our own captain lost a tooth — in the last game of the regular season actually.
Typically, players lose a tooth during play. That wasn’t the case with Johnson, though. When he was still with the St. Louis Blues — unbeknownst to him, his final week with that team — he was in practice. He was screening the goalie, and the puck shimmied up his stick and took out his teeth.
He kept the teeth. He said they still had black puck marks on them.
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He lost three teeth that day. He says the loss of the teeth didn’t hurt that bad. A cut on his lip hurt worse. Avs insider Adrian Dater, then with the Denver Post shared video at the time of his first interview as an Avalanche. It was just a few hours after he arrived in Denver after the trade.
Alas, I asked Dater but he no longer has the video. EJ relayed that story in the video, though. His lip was still swollen and red from the accident.
And, hey presto, our toothless hero was born.
Johnson does have a partial that he can wear. He does so rarely. He used to wear it more often, but its use has tapered off. He once said he just tosses it in “for galas” — you have to remember he’s in the jet set of racehorse owners — but even that seems to happen rarely.
According to his buddy Landeskog, who was his roommate on the road, Johnson used to leave his partial behind in the hotel room. So, Landy shamed him as you do:
If you go down the thread, you’ll see EJ has an answer.
Anyway, I’ve always loved Johnson’s hockey smile. It’s just the right width, pleasantly off-center. Here’s another look at it, in celebration of the win:
I especially love seeing it after he’s scored a goal.
What do you think, Avs Nation? Does Erik Johnson have the best smile in the NHL?