If you asked me what I enjoy most about being a hockey agent, I’m not sure I’d be able to narrow it down to just one thing. If you asked me for a list of reasons why I love what I do, at some point you’d hear me say that every day with my job is different. A lot of people say that about their jobs, but few truly get to experience it.
For example – last Monday morning at about 9am I received a phone call from an unfamiliar number. It turns out it was one of the fathers from the Canadian team I had scouted over the weekend. He had gotten my card from someone with the team and wanted to talk to me about how the whole player/agent relationship works at this point in a youngster’s career if they have aspirations of playing college hockey. I spoke with him for about 15 minutes, explaining that we couldn’t sign his son, provide him with any sort of benefits, or even have much actual contact with him, but we could work with the family in advising him about college choices and help to promote his abilities to college coaches (see NCAA Constitution and Operating Bylaws, August 1, 2009 at 126.96.36.199 which permits a prospective student-athlete to allow an agent to distribute records, statistics, etc. without jeopardizing eligibility). Naturally, I wasn’t expecting to start my day like this, but I was pretty pleased with myself by how I handled the conversation without any preparation. I guess in this competitive industry, you’ve always have to be ready. I told the father that I would be planning a trip up to Ontario in the near future to scout the team further and that I’d be more than happy to sit down with him and really discuss their options and timetable.
With these kids being so young, there isn’t much I can do for them now, but as I explained above, I still have a little wiggle room to work with. My plan – start getting these kids some attention throughout the hockey community. If they start popping up on scouting lists after talking with me, at least the parents will know that I’m the real deal. Immediately, I sent a couple emails out to some scouts who contribute to hockey publications. Most scouting reports don’t include the full crop of 95 birth years yet, but I want to get these kids noticed. Hopefully soon we’ll find out if any of my work is paying off.
Last week I didn’t give you an update on Matt’s situation and you might be wondering what’s going on with him. Right now, he’s still skating with the same club we got him signed with two weeks ago. He’s been seeing increased ice time and he’s taking advantage of it – yesterday he had an assist and a +2 rating. It’s been a few weeks since the CHL and SPHL seasons started and teams should be figuring out where they still need to upgrade. Thus, getting Matt back on their radars is my next move.
Also last week I called a couple of the teams I had spoken with in the past who were struggling defensively. Basically, I identified the teams giving up the most goals per game and then checked their rosters to see where the defensemen were on the +/- rating. Some teams had a few defensemen with a figure deep in the negatives, but many times the player would also have more goals and assists than the rest of the blueliners. As I’ve explained before, Matt’s more of a stay-at-home defensemen – one that will take care of the puck and keep traffic away from his goaltender but not a guy that’s going to be lighting up the lamp every night. Every team has different roles that need to be filled in order to find a certain level of success. Since Matt’s not going to compete with a defenseman who puts up big offensive numbers, I pretty much decided to focus on teams with defensemen without high point totals who were struggling to keep their +/- in the black. Fortunately I was able to reach a handful of coaches that sounded like they might be interested in bringing Matt in on a three-game tryout contract. Today, I’ll be sending the teams Matt’s updated resume as there’s already been a few coaching changes and not everyone currently has his information. Throughout the next couple of days I’ll continue to make some calls and we’ll see where it takes us.
Over the next few weeks I’ve got another challenge ahead of me – setting up my immigration law practice. Last Tuesday, I was officially sworn in and I should be receiving my certificate to practice law any day now. In the mean time I’ve got a lot of matters that need to be addressed.
Step one – find an office. Up until now, I’ve been working out of my home to save money, but with a steady stream (hopefully) of clients that I’ll have to meet with on a daily basis, I’m going to need something a little more professional. Last week, I checked out a few suites located about 15 miles west of where I live and I need to make a decision within the next couple days. After that I’ll be getting my business cards printed up, filing some documents with the State, and taking out my first malpractice insurance policy. With the seemingly never-ending list of fees being thrown at me, it can be extremely stressful at times. Luckily, my family has always been very supportive of me and they’re helping me out with some of the down payments.
Well there’s no surprise that I’ve got another busy week ahead of me. I haven’t gotten much sleep lately but I suppose that in today’s job market, I’d rather be swamped than the alternative. Before I go, I’d like to point out that last week SportsAgentBlog.com had over 20 new articles posted. There are a lot of solid pieces out there for anyone looking to break into the sports industry and I strongly encourage you to check them out. Also please feel free to continue providing the great feedback I’ve gotten so far in the “Comments” section of each entry.