Colorado Avalanche: Mikko Rantanen Contract Holdout

Training Camp for the Colorado Avalanche kicks off Sept. 13, and they will take the ice without one of their best player: Mikko Rantanen.

The 22-year old Finnish right winger is still holding out, awaiting for a long-term contract from Joe Sakic and the Colorado Avalanche. The contract talks have been ongoing, but nothing has materialized.

As of this week, Rantanen is still in his home country of Finland, waiting for contract talks to finish and get him signed before returning to Colorado and joining the team for training camp. Rantanen is extremely talented, and he is rightfully due the money he is holding out for. It’s believed his contract should land somewhere between six and 10 years at $9-$12 million a season –– depending on where the market gets set by other players.

In 2018, Rantanen had 31 goals and 56 assists –– totaling 87 points while missing eight games with an injury toward the end of the year. In the playoffs, he added another six goals and eight assists –– totaling another 14 playoff points in 12 games, including two game winning goals.

One of the most impressive attributes about Rantanen is that he’s still only 22 years old and looks to be one of the best right wingers in the league for years to come. A long-term deal and paying him his market value is a no-brainer. He’s an extremely valuable piece to the Avalanches pursuit of another Stanley Cup, and getting him back on the roster is the top priority.

The biggest roadblock in the negotiations is that there are a handful of other young, talented right wingers who weren’t as productive as Rantanen last season, also in contract talks. Those players, such as Mitch Marner, Patrick Laine and Brayden Point are all playing the waiting game to see who caves first, thus setting the market. It’s pretty well understood that Mitch Marner should be the first domino to fall towards setting the market, then others should make marginally more per year than he does.

This is impacting the Avalanche right now, because Rantanen was the highest producing last season, so in theory he should be the highest paid. This saga will continue until these other players sign their contracts, meaning Mikko will likely be one of the last ones under contract. Joe Sakic and company are hoping this happens sooner rather than later so that Rantanen rejoins the team and they can continue to develop chemistry with the 2019 regular season kicking off Oct. 3 against the Calgary Flames in Calgary.

The Aves are projecting to be a top team in the NHL next season, and Vegas odds makers had them with some of the highest odds to lift Lord Stanley’s Cup in 2019.

Fingers-crossed Mitch Marner doesn’t hold out into the season causing a ripple effect to multiple other teams and Mikko Rantanen can rejoin the team and continue their pursuit of hockey immortality!

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