Mishkin's Moments: Mailbag
With Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Final occurring on Friday, I’ll wait until next week to recap that series. This week, I’ll answer a couple of fan-submitted questions.
Hey Dave -
Can you post who the free agents are and who you think will be re-signed? I am a huge Mike Lundin fan and though he didn't play up here this season, I hope we can re-sign him and get him going! Also what are your thoughts or what have you been told about his play in Norfolk this past season?
First off, there are two categories of free agents: restricted free agents (RFAs) and unrestricted free agents (UFAs). A player’s status is based on age and/or years in the league. The formula for the unrestricted free agents is simple. As of July 1, a UFA can sign with any team. It gets a little more complicated for the RFAs. Teams that hold their rights have until June 29 to make a qualifying offer (QO). Players who don’t receive QOs become unrestricted.
It’s rare, but a qualified player can sign an offer sheet from another team, but the club that holds his rights can then match that offer and keep him. (This happened with Thomas Vanek in Buffalo a couple of years ago). More common is to see a qualified player stay with his existing team. But there’s another wrinkle. Some RFAs have earned arbitration rights, meaning that they can take their case to an arbitrator. That person decides what the contract offer will be. If the club doesn’t want to pay that amount, then it can walk away from the awarded contract and the player becomes unrestricted.
Having written all that, here is the list of Lightning free agents. Following each player’s name will be his status: UFA, RFA or RFA with arb.
Martins Karsums – RFA
Matt Pettinger – UFA
David Koci – UFA
Brandon Segal – RFA
Jason Ward – UFA
Cory Murphy – UFA
Richard Petiot – UFA
Josef Melichar – UFA
Matt Lashoff – RFA
Mike Lundin – RFA with arb
Lukas Krajicek – RFA with arb
Matt Smaby – RFA with arb
Marek Malik – UFA
Noah Welch – UFA
Karri Ramo – RFA
Mike McKenna – RFA with arb
Naturally, I am not privy to management’s internal meetings about which players will receive offers (and what those offers will be). J But, there are some logical conclusions we can reach. Most RFAs without arb rights get qualified. Typically they are early enough in their careers that there’s no reason not to keep them. They can go to the minors if they don’t make the big club. It’s a little trickier to predict what will happen with the players who have arbitration rights. It’s not just about wanting to keep the player. If the player takes the team to arbitration, the money aspect could play a factor – the contract has to fit in with the club’s overall plan. But maybe the player agrees to a contract and declines arbitration.
As for the UFAs, it’s even harder to predict. The player has earned the right to field offers from all 30 teams. Salary, location and the fit has to be right for both the player and the team.
Regarding your specific question about Mike Lundin, I understand that Mike played terrifically well for the Admirals. According to the attached article, which appeared earlier this season on tampabaylightning.com, he not only played the solid, positional game that we saw in 2007-08 with the Lightning, he also added some offense to his arsenal and was one of the team’s leaders. Click here for earlier story on Lundin
As an announcer, do you "practice" your goal calls or certain other calls you make during a game, or do you just let it happen?
I don’t “practice” my goal calls (as noisy as I get, I probably would lose my voice doing it!). Here’s the best way for me to answer your question. When I started announcing, I thought about what kind of radio broadcaster I liked hearing. First, I felt that painting a picture was very important, so I try to constantly tell who has the puck, where that player is and what that player is doing. This aspect does take practice. I utilize the player warm-up before a game to “warm-up” myself. Also, after the offseason, I call all the scrimmage games during training camp as a way to get back in the groove.
Second, I always loved team announcers who weren’t shy about showing their enthusiasm for the club they represented. (It’s obviously different for the national broadcasters who aren’t affiliated with the teams involved and are announcing to more than just one team’s fans). So I decided that I wouldn’t hesitate to get excited at a goal, save or great play. But this isn’t something I’ve ever practiced. I’ve always let the natural emotion “happen”, as you wrote.
Thanks for the questions this week. As always, please submit your inquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org.