Erik Erlendsson covers the Tampa Bay Lightning for The Tampa Tribune.
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Some bits of news coming out of draft weekend
Posted Jun 23, 2007 by Erik Erlendsson
Updated Jun 23, 2007 at 09:24 PM
First, I alluded to this the other day, but contract talks with Paul Ranger’s agent, to this point, have not progressed. The signing of Shane O’Brien prompted the question to Jay Feaster, but he was pretty strong in saying how the negotiations were completely different. Here’s the note on it that is in tomorrow’s paper.
Contract talks with restricted free agent Paul Ranger have not progressed much at this point, according to Feaster.
When asked if Thursday’s signing of D Shane O’Brien to a two-year, $2 million contract would have any effect on the talks with Ranger, Feaster said the two had no bearing on each other.
“Paul Ranger does not have arbitration rights,’’ Feaster said. “We think the world of this player and we want to get him signed, but it’s not a situation where we are going to open the check book. He is still two full seasons away from having arbitration rights and that makes a difference.’’
In his second season Ranger, who made $450,000 last season, had four goals and 28 points after missing all of training camp with a stress fracture in his foot. The former sixth-round pick has five goals and 46 points in 148 career games and participated in the Young Stars game as part of the All-Star game festivities this season.
ANALYSIS: Does this mean there are problems in negotiations with Ranger? Not really. At this point, it’s all about leverage. The team has it because Ranger is coming out of his entry level contract and has no leverage. The only pressure point he has is to holdout from training camp, which isn’t going to happen. I think we all know that Paul Ranger is building his way up to a successful career and he will get his payday - when that day comes. Until then, his agent’s job is to get the best possibly contract for his client and the guess here is that he will get near a 100 percent raise from his $450,000 salary last year, but don’t expect a seven figure salary. That’s still to come. And this will probably drag on for a bit but as the summer gets closer to a close, I expect Ranger will be under contract for the 2007-08 season.
Also, qualifying offers are due by Monday at 5 p.m. for all restricted free agents. Feaster shared with us who will be offered those in order to retain their negotiating rights and the right to match any offer sheet another team may sign a player to.
PLAYERS RETAINED: Feaster revealed which players the team will be issuing qualifying offers to before Monday’s 5 p.m. deadline in order to retain negotiating rights.
Those who will be giving QOs include: Ranger, LW Ryan Craig, RW Karl Stewart, D Mike Egener and LW Mitch Fritz.
Those who will not be qualified, thereby becoming unrestricted free agents on July 1 are: D Doug Janik, D Brady Greco, C John Toffey, and G Morgan Cey. Feaster added that former 2002 second round pick RW Adam Henrich would also likely not be retained.
In the case of Janik, who played in 75 games for the Lightning last season, Feaster said Janik won’t be qualified because the defenseman has arbitration rights and the team wants to sign him to a two-way deal, something which he believes an arbitrator would rule against.
Also, check out my beat column in Monday’s paper wrapping up the weekend (quiet as predicted) and setting the summer months and what to expect between now and the opening of training camp. In the meantime, I am back on the road starting late Sunday morning heading back home. I’ve been away for a couple of weeks and begin the trek back south from my hotel in Columbus. We are taking a different route this year, stopping off in Kingsport, Tenn. to spend the night with a friend. Wish me well in my travels (especially with four kids in the car, although they were very good on the trip up) and I’ll see everybody back home in a couple of days.