The following is a continuation of my interview with Randy Hahn, play-by-play announcer for the San Jose Sharks. As always, my portions are in italics, and his responses are in regular type; remember you can see the rest of the interview on Bleacher Report, where you can also post comments...
Who would you consider to be the big free agents (on the Sharks this off-season)?
Oh, there's restricted and unrestricted--are you talking unrestricted?
I'm talking about either, actually. When you use the term big free agents--"we're probably gonna lose big free agents"--which people are you conceptualising as the big ones?
Well, the free agents of note
are (Patrick) Marleau, (Evgeni) Nabokov, (Joe) Pavelski, (Devin) Setoguchi, (Manny) Malhotra, (Scott) Nichol, (Rob) Blake, so
there's your big veteran free agent group. And it's probably unlikely that that
whole group will be back.
Just if you do the math and you know Patrick Marleau is coming off the best year of his career--what do you do?
I run sales and fundraising for non-profit organisations.
Okay, let's say you just came off your best year ever at what you do and you raised more money and did the best fundraising job you ever did--would you want a raise?
Absolutely! (No sense telling him that I work on commission, so a raise would already have happened.)
(Laughter) So Patrick Marleau just came off the best year he ever had, and it just happens to be the year he's in free agency.
And he was arguably the team's best player--I mean, of a few people in that category, and he was only the fourth-highest paid player...
Yeah, so my guess is his agent is gonna say, "I think you deserve a raise this year." I don't think there's anybody in the NHL that would disagree. And (same with) everyone else in that group that you talk about, with the exception of maybe somebody like Blake, who at his age would--sometimes you see players willing to take less, as he did for this past year. I mean, Manny Malhotra was a free agent and signed a one-year deal, and--
And $700,000 was not--he way out-played that contract.
I think he scored more goals than he ever has in a season, and was an effective checker, and he led the NHL in faceoffs, an important role on a puck-possession team like the Sharks. I don't think he wants to take a paycut next season.
But you know, these are general manager questions and I just would rather not get too much into the whole dollars thing, because it's not my role with the team. I don't wanna speak for Doug Wilson, and I'd prefer if you wanna talk about free agents and how they fit under the cap, that you ask for an interview with him rather than talk to me about it.