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NHL superstar starts very public beef with member of his own team


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Ryan Smitheram
December 12, 2023  (9:15)
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The Colorado Avalanche and Calgary Flames took part in an absolutely wild game last night in Colorado that saw the Avs escape with a 6-5 win, including scoring three goals in the third period. Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen led the way with a goal and two assists and following the game, Rantanen had some choice words for the father of teammate Artturi Lehkonen.

"One of our Finnish NHL players' dad was talking s*** about me in the media that I didn't train last summer like I used to and he was making things up so I think that was for him. If you talk s*** it's going to come back at you."

The father he is referring to is Ismo Lehkonen, Artturi Lehkonen's dad.
In an article from Finnish media company "YLE" that was published yesterday, Ismo Lehkonen said, (loosely translated) "Could it be that Mikko has hit a wall for a while? He didn't have a very good summer."

In Toronto, we see reports of fathers of players being involved in contract negotiations, but never calling out a current teammate of their son or creating tension between other players. This is something that the Avalanche will need to address sooner than later to avoid any further fallout or animosity between the teammates.
Whether Lehkonen was aware of his father's comments or not, he will have to have a very difficult conversation with him and with Rantanen, for that matter. You really feel for Lehkonen here, as there will not only likely be some friction between he and Rantanen, but also he and his own father.
Lehkonen has not played since November 10th after falling into the boards head first, sustaining a neck injury. Since the injury, he has been listed as "week-to-week". Although he has not been around the team and likely won't be for a while, you can be sure that once he returns, he will be facing questions about his father's comments.
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12 DECEMBRE   |   415 ANSWERS
NHL superstar starts very public beef with member of his own team

Do you think the Avs should trade Artturi Lehkonen due to his father pissing off one of the Avs' top players?

Yes14334.5 %
No27265.5 %
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