Avalanche GM Sakic on Rantanen contract: 'We prefer long term'

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Joe Sakic wants Mikko Rantanen to be a member of the Colorado Avalanche for a while. (Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)
Joe Sakic wants Mikko Rantanen to be a member of the Colorado Avalanche for a while. (Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)

The Colorado Avalanche are in the same spot as many other NHL teams right now - they too are trying very hard to strike a deal with a high-end restricted free agent.

General manager Joe Sakic stated that if the Avs can get the contract done on their terms, it would include keeping all-star forward Mikko Rantanen in Denver for a while.

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“We prefer long term,” the executive said to Rick Sadowski of NHL.com. “If it has to be short term, it has to be short term. We want to make sure we have him signed. There's a lot of players (in the NHL) in that same situation, a lot of great hockey players that are coming up. We'll just see how all the players and agents handle that. There are comparable numbers that are starting to come in. We're open to different possibilities.”

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It makes sense that the club wants to keep him there for the foreseeable future. Rantanen is coming off a season where he posted career bests in goals (31), assists (56), and just about every other major offensive statistic. The Finnish star has exceeded expectations, which is impressive considering he was selected with the 10th-overall pick in 2015.

The 22-year-old’s agent, Michael Liut, who met with Sakic at the NHL draft in June according to Sadowski, is no stranger to inking high-profile players to long-term deals. He is responsible for fetching both Vladimir Tarasenko and Leon Draisaitl eight-year contracts.

Tarasenko’s agreement with the St. Louis Blues is worth $60 million, while Draisaitl’s with the Edmonton Oilers nets him $68 million. Also worth noting is that Liut serves as the representation for Winnipeg Jets RFA Patrik Laine.

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