Reporters including Michael Chambers of the Denver Post caught up with Colorado Avalanche GM Joe Sakic today at his celebrity golf tournament, and asked him about the ongoing contract negotiations with Mikko Rantanen. There were recently reports that things had barely started between the two sides, but Sakic confirmed he had personally agreed with Rantanen that a long-term deal is the way to go.
With both sides on the same page regarding term, there is one less thing to worry about in negotiations. Obviously salary is now the biggest question and you have to wonder if Rantanen’s side (and maybe the Avalanche too) want to wait and see where some of the other high-priced restricted free agents come in. At the very least, the fact that Rantanen wants to sign long-term in Colorado is a positive sign and one that should excite Avalanche fans.
- Former NHL defenseman Denis Grebeshkov will join his old coach behind the bench in the KHL this season. He has been hired as an assistant to Craig MacTavish, who was the head coach of the Edmonton Oilers when the Russian experienced the most NHL success. Originally selected 18th overall by the Los Angeles Kings in 2002, the left-handed defenseman played several seasons for Edmonton and recorded 39 points in 2008-09. MacTavish left the Oilers this offseason to pursue an opportunity coaching Yaroslavl in the KHL.
- The Kings have confirmed to Jon Rosen that prospect Johan Sodergran will play in North America for the 2019-20 season, coming over from the SHL. Sodergran signed his entry-level contract in June after the Kings selected him in the sixth round in 2018 and comes with a fair amount of buzz after a successful season with Linkoping HC. Though he finished the year with just 13 points in 42 games, competing at all in that league at such a young age is an impressive feat. Sodergran also suited up for Sweden at the World Juniors last year and is expected to play for the Ontario Reign of the AHL despite not turning 20 until November.