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January 23, 2009

Pete Michaud: Mailbag

Hello, Admirals fans?

In this edition, I?ll handle a few questions I?ve recently received via email.

Chad writes, ?Pete, is there any chance Admirals games will be simulcast
on an FM station so I can listen to your commentary at home games?? Well, Chad, I doubt any simulcast will take place. Probably the only time you?ll hear us on an FM station will be any April games that conflict with Tides broadcasts on 1310. When this happened last season, we moved the Admirals broadcasts to 100.5 FM (a sister station of 1310). Let?s be frank?hockey on radio attracts a smaller audience than a broad-ranging music format, so most FM stations, which focus on music because of the quality of FM versus AM radio, aren?t interested in carrying sports programming. While I know that 1310 can not be heard in every area of Hampton Roads at night, it has, in my opinion, the second best AM signal in the area. Coupled with the advantages offered by being on an all-sports station, I think this is the best radio arrangement we?ve had in probably a dozen years. Think back to just 2 or 3 years ago when we were on stations you couldn?t pick up driving out of Scope. Of course, one of AM radio?s problems is that it?s almost impossible to pick up inside Scope. I?ll do some research to see if there is any way to rectify that problem.

Adrienne writes in to say, ?When you broadcast a game, do any of the scratched or injured players stop by to chat with you?? Yes, they do?sometimes. We had Brandon Segal actually do color for a whole period on a recent broadcast while he was out of the lineup with a hand injury. The players not in the lineup on any given night for home games are usually asked to sign autographs on the concourse during some intermissions, so getting those guys on for home games is a bit tougher. On the road, it kind of depends upon where the broadcast location is. If it?s close to the locker room so it?s easy for the players to get there, I?ll often ask them to drop by to visit on the air if they are not playing. The Spectrum in Philadelphia is perfect for this. On the other hand, some radio spots are so tough to get to the players couldn?t find them with a road map. Hershey, which has a press box you can?t get to quickly, comes to mind.

Petey contacts us to ask, ?What?s the story of Wacey Rabbit?s name?? Rabbit is a player with the Providence Bruins who happens to have my FAVORITE name in the AHL! Rabbit is a Native American who grew up on a reservation in southern Canada just outside of Alberta. According to Wacey, it?s common for many Native Americans to take names of different things in nature as a family name, which was the case for his family and almost everyone else in his tribe. That?s where ?Rabbit? comes from. His first name, Wacey, came from a professional bull rider. ?I was named for Wacey Cathey, the 1985 World Champion,? Rabbit says. ?Bull riding was the popular thing to do for my tribe in the summer and then hockey in the winter.? His name is always a topic of conversation. ?I ordered a pizza once and they weren?t going to take my order because they thought I was pranking them when I gave them my name,? laughed Rabbit. ?I?m proud of the name and it is a great conversation starter.?

And lastly, Connie wants to know, ?What?s the difference between a ?one way? contract, a ?two way? contract and an AHL contract?? It can be a bit confusing, but here goes. A 'one way' contract is an NHL contract in which the player is paid his NHL salary regardless of where he plays. In other words, there is only 'one way' that he can be paid. The NHL's minimum salary is $450,000 a year (and will go up to $525k in 2011-12), so getting a club to offer a ?one way? contract is a big deal for a player. A player on a 'one way' contract CAN be sent to the minors, but he would still get his NHL salary while player in the minors. For example, when the Lightning sent Andrew Hutchinson, who was on a $500,000 a year ?one way? contract (according to reports) to the Admirals to begin the year, he was being paid his NHL salary by Tampa Bay even though he was playing here. A 'two way' contract, however, means that a player may be paid in one of two different ways, depending upon where he plays. This player?s contract gives him an NHL salary (again, this would be at least the required NHL minimum of $450k) when he's in the NHL and a much smaller minor league salary when playing in the AHL or elsewhere in the minors. A guy on a 'two way' deal may get called up to the NHL and make more there in a week than he'll make in 6-8 weeks in the minors. For example, when Vladimir Mihalik and Ty Wishart were recently called up to the NHL they were paid an NHL salary (prorated, of course) and when they returned to the Admirals they went back to making their AHL salary. Lastly, some players may be on a standard AHL contract. Although it's called an 'AHL contract,' this contract comes from the NHL club. The Admirals have never signed a player themselves. All of our players are signed and paid by Tampa Bay, regardless of what kind of contract they have. A player on an AHL contract, however, may not be called up to the NHL. If the NHL team wants to call that player up, they would have tear up his AHL contract and sign him to a 'two way' NHL contract.

Well, I hope that answers your questions. If you have more questions, feel free to email. Until next time?

Pete ( )

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