After the playoffs ended, one of the questions around the Colorado Avalanche was whether or not Erik Johnson would consider retirement at this stage of his career. At the age of 35 and with 920 games under his belt, it was a legitimate question.
On the 32 Thoughts podcast with Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman, they said that is not the case.
“I’d heard some rumblings that he might be considering retiring,” Friedman said on Johnson. “I was told that was about as wrong as a rumor can be. I don’t know how you define a wrong rumor, but that one was really wrong. So he’s going to play. He obviously hopes it’s with Colorado, but if not, he’ll hit the market. The one thing about Erik Johnson is he is jacked. He looks like he could play forever. But he’s going to play. He’s not done by any stretch.”
So that settles one of the questions around Johnson, as it looks like he wants to continue his career. Players do like hitting that 1,000 game milestone, which is an incredible accomplishment for anyone.
But will he return with the Avalanche? They have a need for depth on defense, and he’s a huge part of that locker room. With Gabriel Landeskog out for all of next season, keeping a big piece of the leadership group around isn’t a bad idea. He’s also a right handed shot, which coaches always love.
Maybe the biggest question will be salary. He obviously won’t come close to making the $6 million he was making previously, and the team would need him to take a massive pay cut to stick around. With a little over $20 million to fill 8 roster spots, and some pretty glaring holes up front, it would have to come in around the $1 million a year mark, I imagine. If he decides to go to market, he may get a better offer than that.
Either way, it sounds like EJ wants to continue playing. Seeing him play in another uniform would be tough for Avalanche fans.
Stay tuned to CHN for more updates as they come in.