Well, some good news came last week – Matt had his final doctor’s appointment and fortunately he was cleared to play. While the Louisiana camp which Matt was originally signed up for started this past Friday and ended just yesterday, the GM still only has one defense-man signed, so he has been fairly flexible with Matt’s schedule. I’ll be calling him in just about an hour or so to finalize some details, but it looks as though Matt’s going to be skating with the team beginning tomorrow morning and continuing through the week. Since Matt has grandparents that live relatively close to the team’s rink, I sent him down yesterday so that he’d be ready whenever the team needed him. I sent him down with a few copies of his one-sheet resume that he could personally hand out to members of the coaching staff. Now it’s time to once again hold my breath and hope things run smoothly once he hits the ice.
Also, within the past couple of days it seems as though our hockey division might have found its second official client. While Matt was attending the free agent camp at Texas a few weeks ago, he was placed in a shared apartment with a Canadian player named Nick, who was also in town for the tryout. After Texas didn’t work out, Nick moved onto a club in the IHL. Unfortunately, he was just released this past weekend and is naturally looking for a new team for the upcoming season. Matt had kept in touch with Nick after he left Texas and offered him a place to crash while he was still in the States. He also told him about the work I’ve been doing and let him know that he’d talk to me.
Saturday night I met up with Matt and Nick for a couple of beers to discuss both of their options. I’m going to make a few calls for Nick, including one to Louisiana, and we’ll see where it goes. I’ve only met Nick once and I’ve never personally seen him skate, but I trust Matt’s judgment regarding both his talent and, possibly more importantly, his character.
As opening night for leagues draws closer and closer, there are a lot of talented players who have found themselves on the cut lists of some teams, now scratching and clawing for the few rosters spots still available. Nick’s another big defense-man coming in at around 6’4”, 210lbs. In hockey, as with most other sports, size obviously helps, but it certainly doesn’t guarantee anything. In addition, I’m already faced with a possible conflict of interest. As a defense-man with good size, Nick could be in direct competition with Matt for a single roster spot. Even though I’m not taking a commission on any contract procured for Matt, he’s still my client and my loyalty has to fall with him first. When I talk to the Louisiana GM in a bit, I’m going to have to feel out the situation and see if maybe there’s room for both of them. If I can successfully pitch the idea to the club, everybody wins. If it doesn’t sound like that’s an option, I’ll just have to find an opportunity for Nick elsewhere.
Another option I’ve considered is sending the boys over to Europe. My goalie from OU played a season in Estonia and, with his connections, has since placed a few other former Bobcats with teams out there. Both Matt and Nick seemed interested in the idea so I’m going to try and find out what kind of offers the two of them could get. If Europe is ultimately the best option, I’ll want to see if I can get them signed as part of a package deal – it would certainly make the transition easier for them. For now though, I’m going to keep my focus on North America.
On a side note, it looks as though maybe my trip to Russia could be coming together soon. On Thursday, I received an email from a Russian friend explaining that my immigration documents are processing and that I should be getting an email from some Russian officials sometime this week. I was told to simply agree to whatever the documents require, but I have a feeling I’m going to give them a little more attention.
Until then, however, it’s just back to the phones, hoping to catch a break. As usual, I’ll be sure to post any contract signings updates via my twitter page.