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Agent for Rantanen, Laine: 'We're not close' in negotiations

Jonathan Kozub / National Hockey League / Getty

The man who represents restricted free agents Mikko Rantanen and Patrik Laine says his clients aren't on the verge of agreeing to new contracts with their respective clubs.

"We're not close, how about that? That's about as much as you're going to get out of me," Mike Liut told Sportsnet 650 on Wednesday.

However, the former NHL goaltender and current managing director of Octagon Hockey added that there haven't been any surprises throughout talks involving the Finnish stars.

"Nothing has gone on that we didn't anticipate," Liut said.

The agent also discussed a certain Toronto Maple Leafs forward, who agreed to a new six-year contract with his team at an average annual value of $10.893 million last Friday.

"Is there a comparable?" Liut said. "Yes, I think that Mitch Marner and Mikko Rantanen are probably the two closest comparables in terms of how they play the game, where you have wingers who are adept at creating offense for those that they're playing with ... and they do it a little differently."

Rantanen posted 31 goals and 87 points in 74 games last season while playing on the Colorado Avalanche's explosive top line alongside Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog.

Marner racked up 26 goals and 94 points alongside John Tavares and Zach Hyman in 2018-19.

Laine, who registered career lows of 30 goals and 50 points in his third season with the Winnipeg Jets, expressed concern about his ice time to a Finnish publication earlier this week.

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