The Colorado Avalanche are not prepared to give restricted free-agent forward Mikko Rantanen the same money Mitch Marner will earn on his new contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, according to The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun.
Marner, who was also a restricted free-agent winger following his third NHL season, signed a six-year, $65.36-million pact with the Leafs last week. The deal carries an average annual value of $10.89 million.
The Avalanche made Rantanen a long-term offer earlier in September but negotiations have not progressed much since then, LeBrun adds.
Rantanen's agent, Mike Liut, said Wednesday he is "not close" to landing a new deal for his client.
The 22-year-old finished second in team scoring with the Avalanche last season, setting career highs with 31 goals and 87 points in 74 contests. Here's how the towering Finn's numbers stack up to Marner's through each player's first three NHL campaigns:
|Player||GP||G||A||Pts (per game)||ATOI|
Rantanen is currently skating with the Storhamar Dragons in Norway as he awaits a resolution to his contract dispute. The 6-foot-4 forward remains on the list of blue-chip restricted free agents who are still unsigned. Brayden Point, Matthew Tkachuk, Patrik Laine, and Kyle Connor are all awaiting new deals with their respective clubs as well.
Colorado holds a projected $15.61 million in cap space with Rantanen the only remaining player without a deal, according to CapFriendly.