According to Ryan S. Clark of The Athletic, "it is understood" that the Colorado Avalanche are looking to sign restricted free agent Mikko Rantanen to a contract with an average annual value of $8.4-$8.75 million on a six-to-eight year term.
TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun wrote in The Athletic Thursday that the Avalanche made a long-term offer to Rantanen earlier this month, but the two sides have made little progress since. LeBrun noted that the Avalanche aren’t willing to give Rantanen a contract similar to Mitch Marner's deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs, despite the two posting similar stats last season.
Rantanen, the 10th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, posted a career-high 31 goals and 87 points in 74 games last season. Marner, who signed a six-year contract with a $10.893 AAV last week, had 26 goals and 94 points in 82 games.
Rantanen is currently skating with Switzerland's SC Bern as he continues to wait out a new contract. The 22-year-old skated earlier this summer with Norway's Storhamar Dragons and Finnish club TPS prior to that.
Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic said last month the Avalanche are hoping to sign Rantanen to a long-term deal, and Clark reports that remains the case as the team looks ahead to captain Gabriel Landeskog and goaltender Philipp Grubauer needing new contracts ahead of unrestricted free agency in 2021.
Rantanen has 80 goals and 209 points in 239 career games.