A decade in Denver. That’s how long Erik Johnson has spent in an Avalanche uniform. That’s a longer tenure than anyone can claim in Colorado’s locker room. He’s survived three coaches, two general managers, the worst season in modern NHL history, the triumphant season that followed — the highs, the lows and everything in between. He’s become the elder statesman in the P̶e̶p̶s̶i̶ ̶C̶e̶n̶t̶e̶r̶ Ball Arena locker room, a man who dons the Burgundy and Blue proudly, and does it with stoicism and dignity.
But like any great story, you turn the pages. No matter what, at some point, you’ll always reach that back cover.
Math, numbers and arithmetic are one of the many things that distinguish humans from other sentient beings. It’s what’s propelled science, medicine, travel, etc. to its current state. It makes — and can break — humanity. And in sports, like everything else, numbers are supremely relevant. For players, it’s statistics and the numbers on a paycheck. For general managers, well, it’s really not all that different. And with it also comes balancing the checkbook, managing cap space and ensuring the team is financially functional in the future.
And herein lies the problem for Erik Johnson.