Erik Johnson hopes this is the year – to stay fully healthy

Ron Chenoy, USA Today

He has been with the Avalanche since Feb. 19, 2011, when that middle-of-the-night trade happened with the St. Louis Blues. We're more than seven years into his stay with the Avs, which makes Erik Johnson something of the team's wise sage. Notice, the word "old" wasn't thrown in.

Despite turning 30 in March, Johnson retains a youthful look - and demeanor. The game of hockey is still a load of fun for him. Except, when he's hurt.

At no time in his Avs tenure did things hurt more than last spring, when the team made the playoffs and he couldn't participate.

"It was really, really hard," Johnson said.

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