Monday, March 28, 2005


An Agents Speaks Out

A top player agent has allowed me to post this regarding the current situation...this guy is another one of my favorite hockey people...


1. With regard to the agent issue and replacement players. It is very unclear due to the fact that many of us are attorneys. Our fiduciary duty is to our clients first. If Joe Smith wanted to cross I may be obligated to help him or remove myself. There may be an even bigger issue – albeit very remote – of a player suing me for breach of that fiduciary duty because I refused to continue to represent him because I was afraid of sanctions from the Union that would impact me. If the motivation behind my leaving a client is purely financial, I could see where there may be a breach. Pretty long shot, but very demonstrative of the myriad of problems we are facing.

2. I have not heard from Euro clubs that they cannot afford NHLers. Of course, having represented numbers of Euros for years we know the markets and the teams. If agents think they can get NHL money from anyone other than Russia, I think they are mistaken. One thing the Euros are doing is not giving NHL-out clauses to bubble guys and good AHLers. For example. ****** was offered a very good deal in Switzerland. More than his NHL guarantee but less than he would make if he played in the NHL. He can either take the money and go. Or wait. The deal might still be there if the NHL starts, but it might not. Joe Smith might take it. 

3. Next, some of those teams cannot afford to take ************, even at a reduced price, and then lose him back to the NHL. How will they replace him? They might be better off taking a lesser player for more money and at least knowing he will be there for the season.

This a big mess. Gary and Bob, and at some point Trevor and maybe Lou L., need to reevaluate and understand the greater impact this conflict is having on the game world-wide. People are beginning to hate them. The Euros don’t like them already and now they have no respect for the NHL. I place more of the blame on Gary (not for CBA reasons although I place 100% of the blame on him for that) but because he is the custodian of Hockey in the world. This man has placed dollars and profit (profit, not competitive balance, not a reasonable business plan, but guaranteed profit) above everything else. In Gary’s world, Alan Cohen should be able to pay Mike Keenan millions for 5 years, field a cheap team, and still profit. He has no regard for the Prague teams trying to build for next season. He has no regard for Jerry York at BC wondering if he will lose ******* and *****, but not able to give the scholarships up. He has no regard for the Canadian junior who doesn’t know where to play next year because he is too old for the OHL, but cannot go Bingo, because Jason Spezza might be there? I understand Bob has to take some of the responsibility. But Gary is the Commissioner. Gary is the world-wide head of hockey. 

In my mind he has demonstrated he is commissioner of the trying-to-guarantee-thirty-owners-profits League (the TTGTOPL). Sad

The bottom line – and I am surprised that few have picked upon this – is that the players have basically let it be known that they would take a $45m cap. It is a mortal sin for Gary to make be able to make a deal. There is no way anyone can justify to me either quantitatively, objectively, or subjectively, that continuing to ruin the game for a $37 million cap as opposed to a $45 million cap, is better for the NHL. It might be better for Nashville. But that is about it."

Stay tuned, I think we might be hearing somthing from the PA soon...
It has been brought to my attention, by some friendly folks, that the way I chart hits to the blo is flawer...Google Ad Sense has a column that says "Page Impressions" which for me averages around 26,000...It turns out that if you have 4 Google Ads on a page that counts as 4 page impressions....they also talk about ad impressions, but I don't know why that isn't on the chart... See this link for a discussion on this confusing terminology..., that means I am only 1/4 as popular as I thought I was...oh well...I actually average 6,500 visitors a day...still higher than the average blog which is in the 100's, but sadly, I am not a GOD. Oh well, just wanted to clear the air...By the way this applies to our biggest day ever 303,220....really 75,805..The good news is maybe i can "fly under the radar more than I thought now..."

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