Mikko Rantanen ‘not stressful’ about lack of contract with Avalanche


Mikko Rantanen isn't concerned that he and the Colorado Avalanche have yet to agree on a new contract, and he expects the Avalanche to be a better team than last season once he does sign.

"Nothing's wrong; there's still one month until [training] camp starts," the 22-year-old restricted free agent forward said at the Finnish Alumni All-Star Game in Lahti, Finland, on Friday. "I know what's happening, but I'm not stressful. There are a lot of players who are in the same situation.

"[It's] nice that I'm trusted and the club wants to make a long [-term] deal. Let's see what happens … The situation hasn't bothered me."

Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic said Friday that contract talks with Rantanen should get going once training camp gets closer.

"Looking forward to the opportunity to have Mikko back," Sakic said, "and I'm sure he'll be back here."

Rantanen was second on Colorado in scoring last season with an NHL career-high 87 points (31 goals, 56 assists) in 74 games; center Nathan MacKinnon was first with 99 points (41 goals, 58 assists). Rantanen led Colorado with 14 points (eight goals, six assists) in 12 Stanley Cup Playoff games, and scored the winning goals in Games 4 and 5 of the Western Conference First Round to eliminate the Calgary Flames.

He said he believes the Avalanche can take a step forward this season, and that he wants to be the catalyst to make that happen.

#hockey, #professional

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