The Avalanche made a lot of moves on the defensive side of the puck over the summer and now have quite a complicated situation on the blue line.
Much like the center position, the Avalanche have a ton of players on defense that have played in the NHL in the last two seasons and the defensive pairings seem very up in the air.
After trading John-Michael Liles to the Toronto Maple Leafs just before the draft, the Avalanche then went on a regular binge, signing a plethora of defenders.
Jan Hejda, Matt Hunwick, Shane O'Brien and Kyle Cumiskey have all found themselves with new contracts, and Kyle Quincey's return from injury has now made the Avalanche blue line a very crowded location.
Plus, the Avalanche have a lot of prospects on defense that are hoping to find a spot on the roster for opening night. Tyson Barrie, Stefan Elliott and Duncan Siemens all have great potential but will have to surprise a lot of people in order to make the opening night roster.
My thoughts on who the Avalanche will have as pairings run like this.
Johnson will pair with Jan Hejda, Kyle Quincey will pair with Ryan O'Byrne, Shane O'Brien will pair with Ryan Wilson.
Matt Hunwick will more than likely end up as the seventh man out that fills in only from time to time, so long as Joe Sacco stays away from his inexplicable crush that he had on Hunwick last year.
I can also see the Avalanche bringing Cameron Gaunce and Stefan Elliott up from time to time to start getting them acclimated to the NHL level.
Kyle Cumiskey should hopefully end up back in Lake Erie or traded for whatever the Avalanche can get for him.