When asked about his priorities this offseason, Colorado Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic did not beat around the bush.

“Obviously, we’d like to add to our back end,” said Sakic.

The answer, however, may not be found in free agency. It likely will not come in the draft, either.  Instead, the solution may, in fact, come from the trade market. Personally, I might have just the guy in mind.

Last week, Avalanche defensemen Erik Johnson was named to Team USA for the World Cup, which will return in late September.  There, he will likely be reunited with Jack Johnson, whom he was paired with on the silver medal-winning 2010 US Olympic squad.

The Johnsons will play together in red, white and blue in September. Come October, I say they should join forces in burgundy and blue as well.

The Avalanche need to add a top-4 defenseman. Jack Johnson certainly could fit the bill.  He even (naturally) plays the left side, which the Avs should prefer.

In Vancouver, Johnson and Johnson formed USA’s shutdown pairing, finishing a combined plus-5. Since then, they have struggled in the category, combining for a minus-104 rating since. The aforementioned number may scare you off, but it needs to be taken into consideration that for the majority of that time, Jack and Erik have played for the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Avalanche, respectively; neither of which is known for their defensive prowess.

Though they play on opposite points, the Johnsons do share a very similar skillset. Both are big-bodied, mobile and physical two-way defensemen with big shots. They think the game in a similar way. Both have been burdened with high expectations at times. Both have a better chance to reach those expectations, perhaps even surpass them, if they are joined together.

The price to acquire Jack Johnson might not be cheap, but likely has never been cheaper than it is right now. The 29 year old is coming off an injury-plagued campaign in which he posted his lowest point total (14) for a season in which he played at least 60 games since 2007-2008, his first full campaign in the NHL.

Columbus also boast several defensemen with similar builds and skillsets to Johnson. Seth Jones, one of said defensemen, is due a new contract as a restricted free agent. Another, David Savard, will see his new deal kick in next season, with an annual cap hit of $4.25 million. It might be time for Johnson to pass the torch to these young guns (and Ryan Murray). It might be time for Columbus to get Johnson’s annual cap hit of $4,357,142 off the books.

Though maybe not ideal, that would likely be a manageable cap figure for the Avalanche.  If the Avs were willing to sweeten the pot a bit with a little more compensation, the Blue Jackets may even to be willing to retain some of Johnson’s salary.

For whatever reason, Erik Johnson and Francois Beauchemin were not great together last season. Acquiring Jack Johnson would allow Beauchemin’s veteran presence to stabilize a pairing with either Tyson Barrie (assuming he is re-signed) or Nikita Zadorov.

Needless to say, if the Avalanche want any hope of contending next season, they will need improved play from their blueline. Maybe, just maybe, Johnson & Johnson is the cure to their defensive problems.