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Mike Liut, Agent for Rantanen and Laine, provides update on negotations

september 18, 2019
Patrik Laine and Mikko Rantanen are both currently practicing with SC Bern, of the Swiss National League, but their Agent, Mike Liut has been hard at work negotiating contracts with their respective teams.

On Wednesday, Liut joined Sportsnet 650's Starting Lineup to discuss where his clients' negotations are at. Essentially, the first words from Liut's mouth were "we're not close". He continued, "they're high profile guys and there's a guy in Calgary and a guy in Tampa who I think are pretty high profile as well.", obviously referencing Calgary's Matthew Tkachuk and Tampa's Brayden Point. "There's nothing happening that we didn't know was going to happen. Nothing we didn't anticipate."

When questioned about the deals Mitch Marner (6 years, $10.893M AAV) and Brock Boeser (3 years, $5.875M AAV) signed a few days ago, Liut offered his insights that "Mitch Marner and Mikko Rantanen are the closest comparables in how they play the game."

You'd be hard-pressed to find someone who would disagree that Marner and Rantanen are equally valuable to their respective teams, but conversely, you'd also be hard-pressed to find someone who would agree that Rantanen is worth $4 million more than Nathan MacKinnon (who will earn $6.3 million AAV through 2022-2023). This is a very tough spot to be in for Avs GM, Joe Sakic.

The Laine negotations, on the other hand, have taken on a bit of a different dynamic as money does not seem to be the sticking point here. Laine is more focused on his role with the team and wanting to take on more responsibility and play more minutes on the top line with Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele. Given that Paul Maurice's recent comments seem to indicate that he has no interest in giving Laine what he wants, this creates a whole different storm for Liut and Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff to navigate through.

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Which scenario would you prefer if the NHL season restart?
END OF REGULAR SEASON + PLAYOFFS
IMMEDIATELY PLAYOFFS WITH 16 TEAMS
IMMEDIATELY PLAYOFFS WITH MORE TEAMS
IT'S BETTER TO CANCEL THE SEASON