"I think I can provide some stability and some composure back there. It's a younger group and leadership is something I'm comfortable doing, and helping young guys along and doing the right things to help us win hockey games. It's something I take a lot of pride in." -- Erik Johnson
However, if there's going to be playoff hockey in Denver for the second time in three seasons, up-and-coming Semyon Varlamov and veteran Jean-Sebastien Giguere are going to need help from a defense that was porous in its own right.
To that end, the most important acquisition the Avalanche made might have come prior to the 2011 trade deadline, when they added talented young defenseman Erik Johnson in a blockbuster with the St. Louis Blues involving multiple players and draft picks.