Publish date:

Rapid Fire: with Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson

A young Erik Johnson was a fan of one of his now-Pacific Division rivals, and recalls a sticky situation involving the Avalanche equipment manager.

Favorite team growing up? 

Vancouver Canucks. When I was kid, the North Stars had left and we didn’t get a team back until 2000. I loved Pavel Bure, and I was heartbroken when they lost to the Rangers in 1994.

Who was your NHL role model?

Growing up I really liked watching Rob Blake. And when I went to St. Louis, I lived with Al MacInnis, and he was my mentor. I soaked up a lot of knowledge from him over the years.

First big purchase after you signed an NHL contract?

2004 Range Rover

Favorite road cities?

Anaheim, especially in the winter, with the beach. Florida, too. Montreal is great because of the atmosphere at the rink.

Best practical joke you’ve seen?

I’m pretty hard on our equipment manager in Colorado, and he got me back pretty good: he put sticky notes all inside my car. So I got out of practice and I had like, 400 sticky notes in there. It was a little bit of a message not to screw with him, but don’t worry…I got him back.

Craziest fan experience?

When I got to Denver, one lady had an Avalanche logo with the No. 6 tattooed on her arm. That was kind of extreme, I thought, but passionate and cool.

What advice would you give your 13-year-old self?

Don’t sweat the little stuff. It doesn’t matter what anybody on the outside is saying about you, it only matters what you think about yourself, what you’re doing for your teammates and what your coaches think about you.

Want more in-depth features and expert analysis on the game you love? Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.



Leafs' Early Woes Might Have Shown Irrelevancy of North Division

Following another difficult loss to an American team, the Toronto Maple Leafs are getting a hard lesson in what they missed by playing games exclusively in Canada last season.


What You Need to Know About the Chicago Blackhawks Abuse Report

The full report outlining the investigation into allegations against former Chicago Blackhawks video coach, Brad Aldrich, has been released, leading to seismic changes within the team's front office and beyond. Here's a breakdown of what you need to know.

USA Hockey

Stan Bowman Steps Down From USA Hockey's Men's Olympic Team

Stan Bowman has stepped down from his position as GM of the 2022 U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team on Tuesday.