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Rantanen unsigned on eve of camp

September 11, 2019, 4:16 PM ET [9 Comments]
Rick Sadowski
Colorado Avalanche Blogger •Avalanche Insider • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Barring a late-hour agreement, Mikko Rantanen still won’t be under contract when the Avalanche report to the Pepsi Center on Thursday for medicals and physical testing as training camp opens.

The 22-year-old right wing became a restricted free agent July 1 and remains unsigned.

The Avalanche will begin official on-ice sessions Friday at Family Sports in Centennial.

Rantanen, who is coming off his three-year, entry-level contract, set career highs last season for goals (31), assists (56) and points (87) in 74 games. He missed the final eight games with an upper-body injury but returned for the playoffs and had 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in 12 games.

“This is definitely a waiting feeling, but you just have to be calm,” Rantanen told the Finnish newspaper Ilta-Sanomata. “There’s no panic yet. Already in the summer, I was prepared not to go back to (Colorado) at the usual time. I am ready in theory, and it’s no shock that I’m still in Finland.

“For the past four years I have gone to North America usually always late August. All NHL players who have practiced in Turku have already returned, so it’s a special feeling to be in Finland at this time.

“I’ve been recently in connection with (agent) Mike (Liut). Little by little we are moving forward, but I cannot say the exact timetable for how far we are in the negotiations.”

Several other high-profile players remained unsigned as of Wednesday afternoon: Calgary’s Matthew Tkachuk, Tampa Bay’s Brayden Point, Toronto’s Mitchell Marner, Winnipeg’s Patrik Laine, and Vancouver’s Brock Boeser.

The Avalanche open a six-game preseason schedule Tuesday against Vegas at the Pepsi Center at 7 p.m. They open regular-season play Thursday, Oct. 3, at home against Calgary at 7 p.m.

Here’s the schedule for the first four days of on-ice sessions (all times MT) at Family Sports. Admission is free and open to the public.

Friday

Group 1 on ice: 8:15 -- 10:15 a.m.

Group 2 on ice: 10:25 a.m. -- 12:30 p.m.

Saturday

Group 2 on ice: 8:45 -- 10:45 a.m.

Group 1 on ice: 10:55 a.m. -- 1 p.m.

Sunday

Group 1 on ice: 8:15 -- 10:15 a.m.

Group 2 on ice: 10:25 a.m. -- 12:30 p.m.

Monday

Group 2 on ice: 9 -- 10:15 a.m.

Group 1 on ice: 11 a.m. -- 12:15 p.m.



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