By Mike Mastovich
May 2, 2004
Johnstown Chiefs fans might have recognized a familiar voice during ESPN’s Eastern Conference semifinal highlights of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Game 3 overtime victory at Montreal.
ESPN showed a clip of Brad Richards’ game-winning goal accompanied by Lightning radio play-by-play broadcaster Dave Mishkin’s excited call.
Mishkin, 34, is in his second season with the Lightning. He started in radio with the ECHL Chiefs in 1991-92 after his graduation from Yale University and spent three seasons here.
“I was so grateful and ecstatic to get my first opportunity in Johnstown,” Mishkin said during a telephone interview yesterday in Tampa. “All I wanted to do coming out of college was to broadcast for a team. To be able to do so and be paid for it as well, I was tickled pink. I don’t think I’ve lost that enthusiasm.”
Enthusiasm? Why not?
Tampa claimed the Southeast Division regular-season title and won Stanley Cup playoff series over the New York Islanders and Montreal, completing a four-game sweep of the Canadiens with a pair of victories at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
The Lightning will play either Philadelphia or Toronto in the Eastern Conference Finals.
“I think it’s a very tight-knit group here,” Mishkin said. “I was fortunate enough to be involved with a championship team at the minor league level in 1997 (with AHL Hershey).
“Teams win championships. The club that plays the best as a team has the best opportunity to win. That was true of the group I was with in 1997 and I certainly get that sense with this team. There really aren’t any egos on the team. The coaching staff instilled a system and everybody buys into the system.”
After calling Chiefs games for three seasons, Mishkin advanced to the AHL, spending eight seasons with the Hershey Bears.
The Lightning hired him last season. Tampa General Manager Jay Feaster was very familiar with Mishkin’s abilities after serving eight seasons as Hershey’s GM.
Mishkin shares the Lightning radio booth with Hockey Hall of Famer Phil Esposito, now a radio analyst.
“It really has been about enjoying calling games whether I was calling games at the War Memorial to a smaller number of fans, to where you have 21,000 fans in the building and a larger listening audience,” Mishkin said. “The listenership has varied and the scale is larger, but that component has never gone away. I have as much fun now calling games as I did my first year calling games in Johnstown.”