Colorado Avalanche: Are We Worried about the Rantanen Contract?

DENVER, COLORADO - FEBRUARY 05: Mikko Rantanen #96 of the Colorado Avalanche plays the the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Pepsi Center on February 05, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
DENVER, COLORADO - FEBRUARY 05: Mikko Rantanen #96 of the Colorado Avalanche plays the the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Pepsi Center on February 05, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

The Colorado Avalanche community is starting to get fretful that star winger Mikko Rantanen hasn’t signed a contract yet.

So, Colorado Avalanche fans, how are you? How has your summer been? Have you been refreshing Twitter much lately?

Have you learned WAY more about Mitch Marner and his contractual demands than you ever thought you would?

Have you had dreams like this at night:

And your immediate thought was just, “Will you just SIGN already, Mitch? Even the Toronto police are exasperated.”

It can’t be just me. Because it’s not about Mitch Marner. It’s about the high-value restricted free agents who haven’t signed yet, including Marner, Matthew Tkachuk, Patrik Laine, and Charlie McAvoy.

Because it seems like one or two of them need to sign before we get to the contract we all really care about — Mikko Rantanen. One just has to sign, and the rest will be a veritable domino fall of contracts.

Even the holy grail of stars, Connor McDavid, is exasperated, remarking that “Someone’s going to have to set that mark.”

Unfortunately, that someone probably isn’t going to be Rantanen. Rather the general consensus is that Marner is the expected first domino. Unfortunately, he’s also a domino that looks poised to hold out.

Last season it was William Nylander, and he held out all through camp and two months of the regular season. But Nylander didn’t have the logjam of contracts waiting behind him.

Surely Marner realizes how many teams and players are watching. Not to mention fans.

Not to mention AVS fans.

What makes it hard is that Marner seems like he’s asking for the moon. He’s looking at a team that has cap issues, and he’s nonetheless trying to set the “comparable” rather than adhering to the “comparable.”

And, again, I wouldn’t care if it didn’t appear to be affecting Rantanen’s negotiations.

A month ago, it looked like Rantanen’s comparables had been set — Sebastian Aho and Leon Draisaitl. Both players are close in age and production to Rantanen. Aho got five years at $8.45 million, Draisaitl eight years at $8.5 million.

But since that’s what GM Joe Sakic was using as comparables — and presumably that’s what he offered — apparently it’s not enough.

Meanwhile, this happened:

Sure, I know the Norwegian team is just poking fun. And we already knew Mikko Rantanen was training with him. But when I saw this tweet, coupled with my natural fretting… it set me off. NO, he does NOT look happy in Hamar! He doesn NOT look good in black and white.

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And Norwegian hockey is far inferior to the NHL. I don’t even know why he’s with her, er, them.

Ok, before this goes any farther into a jealous rage on my side, let’s just remember that training camp doesn’t start for veterans until they have to report for physicals on September 12. There’s usually a charity hockey game a day or two before, but that’s not really “holding out” if you don’t show up.

The Colorado Avalanche still have two weeks to get the contract done before we’re officially in a holdout situation. Plenty of time, right?

In the meantime, let’s fret about the fact that we might not even be able to watch any Colorado Avalanche hockey.

As noted in a previous post, Altitude TV has been showing the games for the last 15 years. Well, apparently they’re in contract negotiations with DISH, Comcast, and DIRECTV, and the big three networks are threatening to drop Altitude broadcasts.

So, if you have one of those providers — and what else is there to have? — you’ll be unable to watch Avs games. You can get NHL TV, but local broadcasts are — you guessed it — blacked out.

Next. Top 5 Reasons to Sign Rantanen. dark

Why can’t we have nice things? The Colorado Avalanche are finally good again, and we might not have one of our stars or, frankly, even a way to watch any of it.

If you want to try and at least help Altitude TV, contact your cable provider and let them know. Links are listed here.