Mount Rushmore of the Colorado Avalanche: Blueline

Dallas Stars v Colorado Avalanche - Game Three
Dallas Stars v Colorado Avalanche - Game Three / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages
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1.) Erik Johnson

 If Adam Foote is Mr. Defenseman over Avalanche history, then Erik Johnson’s got to be his Robin. Acquired from St Louis in 2010-11, Johnson spent the next 13 seasons wearing burgundy and black, playing a total of 717 games for the franchise.

Johnson was never the flashiest member of the team, but he provided a steady presence through some tumultuous seasons for the franchise. Playing primarily as a defensive defenseman, Johnson registered over 100 hits in a season seven times for Colorado. He blocked over 100 shots in a season on nine different occasions as well. Playing a physical style like Johnson did takes a toll on one’s body, and he also had his fair share of injuries.

Offensively, Johnson was serviceable for the team. He scored eight or more goals four times as a member of the club and had 15 or more assists in seven different seasons.

Importantly, and this statistic cannot be measured, was Johnson’s leadership during his tenure in Colorado. Although he was never named captain, Johnson did wear an A during his tenure, and he helped the Avalanche organization grow tremendously from its poor form during his early tenure in Denver to its Stanley Cup winning season more recently.

There could have been others selected to this final spot, like they could have replaced Rob Blake also. Recency bias says Devon Toews should have made this list, and he’s close for sure. For nostalgic purposes, Ray Bourque would make this list. Bourque only played two seasons in Colorado however. Serviceable members of the D corps like Alexei Gusarov or John Michael Liles come to mind as well.

This is the Mount Rushmore of Colorado Avalanche defensemen as I see it.

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