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Rantanen skating with team in Norway as he waits for Avalanche contract

Negotiations with restricted free agent forward expected to resume closer to training camp @NHLdotcom

Mikko Rantanen, a restricted free agent forward, has been skating with a professional team in Norway while waiting on a contract from the Colorado Avalanche.

Storhamar of GET-ligaen, the top league in Norway, posted a photo of the 22-year-old skating at its facility to Twitter on Monday, tagging Colorado in the post.

The Avalanche apparently took the tweet in stride, replying to it later in the day.

Tweet from @Avalanche: He looks better in burgundy and blue 😁

Rantanen had NHL career highs in goals (31), assists (56) and points (87) last season, helping the Avalanche reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second consecutive season. Selected by Colorado in the first round (No. 10) of the 2015 NHL Draft, he has 209 points (80 goals, 129 assists) in 239 NHL games.

Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic said Aug. 16 that contract talks with Rantanen likely would not resume until closer to training camp, which begins Sept. 13.

"We haven't had much dialogue since the [2019 NHL] Draft but camp's coming around so there'll be pressure on both sides," Sakic said. "Looking forward to the opportunity to have Mikko back and I'm sure he'll be back here."

Rantanen is among a group of high-profile restricted free agents who remain unsigned, including forwards Mitchell Marner of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor of the Winnipeg Jets, Brock Boeser of the Vancouver Canucks, Brayden Point of the Tampa Bay Lightning, and Matthew Tkachuk of the Calgary Flames, and defensemen Charlie McAvoy of the Boston Bruins, Ivan Provorov of the Philadelphia Flyers and Zach Werenski of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Marner has requested to train with Zurich of the National League in Switzerland if he does not have a contract from the Maple Leafs by the time Toronto's training camp begins, also Sept. 13.

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