I understand that title seems confusing. For some reason people don’t naturally see "Mike Green" as a verb. Perhaps they are right, maybe it is not a verb, but I am starting a new trend. If you ever end up seeing "Mike Green" used as a verb, you will know who to attribute it to... *cough cough*... me. Now, on to the point of this post.
Erik Johnson, the former 1st overall pick himself, came to be a member of the Avalanche via trade. A trade that I still have some negative feelings about. Out went Chris Stewart, Kevin Shattenkirk, and a draft pick (who became Ty Rattie). In return, the Avs received Johnson, Jay McClement, and a draft pick (who became Duncan Siemans). Stop for a second, and think of the offensive potential with the current Avs roster, and add Stewart, Shattenkirk, and even Rattie (who they may not have drafted) to that.... now Avs fans, wipe up that mess in your pants you just made and keep reading.
It doesn’t do any good to dwell on the past so let’s move on. Erik Johnson has not done much over the years to escape the "bust" label. He shows flashes here and there that make you understand his draft position. Overall, his most consistent issue is consistency. When he is on, he can be the most dominant player on the ice, at other times he is a liability.
It may be time for the Avalanche to move on from their hopes of Johnson turning into a cornerstone defenseman and try to get the most of what he already is. At 6’4" and 230 lbs, he had great size for the back end, and he also skates as well as anyone else with that stature. Perhaps, his most under-utilized attribute, though, his shot. Johnson packs a boomer, and moves very well, am I crazy to think they should gear him towards being a offensive defenseman? The answer to that question is "No, you are not crazy. You are completely right, as usual. They should Mike Green him!"
The Avs should pull Johnson aside, and walk him through his offensive reads, have him focus on when to jump into the play, and when to unload that big shot. Have him play an aggressive offensive, Mike Green style. Once a double digit goal scorer, Johnson needs to be more of a threat on offense. He is still young, so there is a chance he could still approach his potential, but why not use what he has now? Just a thought.