NHL agent: Laine, Rantanen are 'not close' to signing

Kyle CantlonNHL Editor
(Getty)
(Getty)

Hot RFA summer is dragging on way longer than we’d hoped.

Days after Mitch Marner, Charlie McAvoy and Brock Boeser ended their contract stalemates and with the dominos finally beginning to fall as training camps kicked off, a pair of the biggest unsigned RFAs remain far away from resolving theirs.

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Mike Liut, current managing director of Octagon Hockey, the agency that represents both Patrik Laine and Mikko Rantanen, joined Sportsnet 650 on Wednesday:

"We're not close, how about that? That's about as much as you're going to get out of me," Liut said.

The former NHL goaltender added that Octagon, Laine and Rantanen were prepared for a long and tumultuous battle and all the ups and downs that come with high-profile negotiations such as these.

"Nothing has gone on that we didn't anticipate," Liut said of their talks with the Jets and Avalanche, respectively.

Laine, who posted 30 goals during a “down year” with Winnipeg last season, is currently skating in Switzerland while his side and the Jets try to slug out a new deal.

Liut also used Mitch Marner — who agreed to a new six-year contract with the Leafs at a $10.89-million AAV — as their top comparable to Rantanen.

"Is there a comparable? 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," Liut said.

Rantanen posted 31 goals and 87 points in 74 games with the Avalanche last season. Marner, meanwhile, had 26 goals and 94 points in 82 contests.

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