Avalanche lock up Rantanen, Jets bring back Connor in late rush to sign restricted free agents


The Colorado Avalanche signed restricted free-agent Mikko Rantanen to a six-year contract worth $55.5 million (all dollars U.S.) before Saturday’s 4-3 shootout loss to the Stars. Rantanen, one of the last RFAs to sign, will count $9.25 million against the salary cap. The 22-year-old Finn set career highs with 31 goals, 56 assists and 87 points last season on Colorado’s top line with Nathan MacKinnon.

  • One day after getting restricted free agent Patrik Laine under contract for $13.5 million over two years, the Jets signed forward Kyle Connor to a seven-year deal worth $49.98 million — an average annual value of $7.14 million. Connor was Winnipeg’s second-leading goal scorer last season with 34 and third in points with 66, both career highs.
  • Sidney Crosby left the Pittsburgh Penguins’ preseason finale against Buffalo in the first period Saturday after taking a shot off his skate. Hit by a shot from Sabres defenceman Marco Scandella, Crosby played on 6:42 before leaving. Pittsburgh forward Bryan Rust left the game after he was hit in the hand in the third period. “They both got hit with shots,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “We will probably have more definitive answers (Sunday) morning.” The two teams will open the regular season Thursday in Buffalo.

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