Avs' Rantanen skating with Norwegian team amid contract impasse

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Colorado Avalanche winger and restricted free agent Mikko Rantanen is skating with the Storhamar Dragons in Norway as he awaits a new NHL contract, the Norwegian team confirmed Monday.

Storhamar is a member of the GET-ligaen, the highest level of Norwegian professional hockey.

The Avalanche, though, would prefer to see him back in their colors.

Rantanen, a native of Finland, is one of the biggest names in the NHL's group of unsigned RFAs. The list includes Mitch Marner, Brayden Point, Brock Boeser, Zach Werenski and Matthew Tkachuk.

Meanwhile, Marner's camp contacted the Zurich Lions of the Swiss league last week to see about participating in their practices.

It doesn't appear that a resolution is imminent in negotiations between Rantanen and the Avs, but Colorado general manager Joe Sakic said earlier in August that the team would prefer the All-Star signs a long-term deal.

Rantanen was drafted 10th overall by Colorado in 2015 and is coming off a career season in which he posted 87 points in 74 games alongside Nathan MacKinnon on the top line. The 22-year-old added 14 points in 12 playoff games this past spring.

The Avalanche have roughly $15.6 million in available space to strike a deal, according to Cap Friendly.

Avs' Rantanen skating with Norwegian team amid contract impasse
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