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Avalanche offseason

Jack Johnson invited to Avs training camp on PTO



Jack Johnson
Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire

Breaking news: Veteran defenseman Jack Johnson, the third pick overall in the 2005 NHL draft and with 950 games of NHL experience, has agreed to a Professional Tryout (PTO) contract with the Avalanche.

Johnson is 34 years old and played only 13 games with the New York Rangers last season. He has also played with Los Angeles, Columbus and Pittsburgh. While Johnson’s career hasn’t achieved the heights projected as a lottery draft pick, he has had two seasons of 40 points or more.

It would seem like a real longshot that he’d actually make the Avs, but we’ll see. You don’t play 950 career NHL games by being a total stiff. He’s 6-1, 227 pounds and doesn’t shy away from physical stuff. His inclusion to training camp will make for an interesting subplot.

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The Avs would seem to have a pretty well-entrenched top six on defense, but as Joe Sakic has said, “you can never have enough D.”

Johnson had his contract bought out by the Penguins last year, and is still earning $916,677 for the next four years from the Pens from that. He signed a five-year, $16.25 million deal with Pittsburgh originally, but had the last three years bought out. He earned $1.15 million with the Rangers.

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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies, Avs Insider with 104.3 The Fan. Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report alum, author of seven books.

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Paired with EJ, that’d be Johnson & Johnson!


If he can still skate and defend, that would be a great acquisition. EJ, JJ, Toews, Makar, Byram, Murray, MacDonald, MacDermid and Gilbert. Trade Girard for a top scoring forward.

Yan Girard

You have incoherent speech. You say that Girard doesn’t bring nothing good at a hockey team and that a team cann’t win with him. Also you say that Girard has an albatross contract of 5M per year. On the other side you want a top scoring forward in return of Girard. If necessary, there are health professionals that could help you probably. Do not hesitate to consult. These resources are here for that. 


Love and kisses, Yan. Getting rid of Girard, period, would be addition by subtraction.

Yan Girard

In that case, you can forget your top scoring forward and you must rather pay with prospects / draft choices / players.


I’d settle for a case of Campbell’s Tomato Soup if we could dump Girard’s contract and toughen up on defense.

Yan Girard

The other team would want a compensation like prospects / draft choices / players by accepting to take Girard. You will understand that if a player isn’t good to the point of losing his team and that he costs too much, the other team does a favor and so will require a compensation. Consequently, you can forget too the Campbell’s Tomato Soup.

Yan Girard

If Jack Johnson becomes a regular defenseman in the alignment, that isn’t a good new for the Avs.


I’d take him over Sam Girard any day. The only chance the Avs have to win a Stanley Cup is if Girard doesn’t play in the playoffs. Otherwise, the Avs are doomed to repeat history. You can’t cover for a weak, undersized, abused and confused, defenseman by giving up half the defensive zone and watching him get crushed, physically, every shift while being tossed aside like a cheap rag doll. Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them. Minimus Girardis.

Yan Girard

I think that all the people understood, you would do playing your grandmother before Girard.


Yeah – she’s a tough old coot. You couldn’t move her from in front of the net. She weighs more than Sammy and is an inch taller.

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