Regardless of what profession you find yourself working in, life is going to throw you a few curveballs along the way that can make things difficult. When you travel as much as I do, especially by car, losing a vehicle can be a major speed bump – especially when it happens right before a big scouting weekend in Toronto. Nevertheless, you have to take what life gives you and go with it, so instead of hitting the road for Toronto, my week was spent looking into purchasing a new car.

One issue that made things fairly difficult was the fact that “the Trib” was stuck in Indianapolis, so if I wanted to get some trade-in value for it, I’d have to purchase a car out of state. I spent a few days online researching different makes and models that fit my price range and driving needs, and narrowed it down to a few that I’d check out over the weekend. Naturally as an agent, I pride myself on my negotiating abilities…but when a dealership knows your car is stuck and you’re in from out of town, it can be tough to get the upper hand. Bottom line – you have to be willing to walk away from the deal. Fortunately, with my mom and sister living only about 45 minutes from Indianapolis, I had the option to leave town Friday night and do some more shopping on Saturday, and I made sure to let all the sales people know that. In the end, I found a car that seemed to fit my needs, and finalized the purchase that night. As it turned out, I had to stay in Bloomington for the night anyway, as the financing paperwork took some time coming through, so I had to finish signing Saturday morning. From there, it was back to Chicago and back to work. And in case you were wondering, I ended up buying a 2007 Kia Sportage, and so far I’m really happy with my decision.

As I know I’ve said before, one thing I love about my job is that there’s a lot of flexibility. Unfortunately as an agent, you’re also on call 24/7 and never know when you’re going to have to work. One great example of this took place during the test drive of the Sportage I bought. After sitting shotgun for about five minutes, the salesman who “helped” me pulled over in grocery store parking lot so I could get behind the wheel for a bit. Right then my phone rang and it was a number I didn’t recognize. It was one of the scouts/coaches from the Chicago Steel looking to touch base and get some info on Andrey’s status. After a 15-minute conversation (with the him sitting patiently in the driver’s seat), I apologized for making the salesman wait, but explained it was an important call. At the very least, I’m sure it made me look more important than your typical 25-year-old guy looking to purchase  a car, and I definitely ran with it.

Also keeping me busy this week was Andrey’s Visa situation. As I think I mentioned before, I want to get him back into the States in time for the NHL Entry Draft. Processing for Visitor’s Visas usually only takes a couple weeks, so we won’t be filing the application now, but I wanted to get everything  in place so that come time to submit the forms, things run smoothly.

On my plate for this week is following up with some NHL clubs about Andrey’s media kits. I haven’t heard back from any scouts yet, but with most NHL clubs having their team meetings mid-May, this is just business-as-usual. I’ve been able to pull some information from the Steel coaches regarding some teams that are very interested in him and I’m going to be putting those clubs on the top of my contact list. When contacting teams, you always have to have something “real” to talk about. Besides just getting Andrey a little added exposure, sending the kits gives me a reason to call and that’s always a good thing.

Besides working on Andrey’s stuff, it seems as though I’ll also be working on getting an AHL deal for a Kontinental Hockey League (“KHL”) player. He’s still under contract with his Russian club, but it seems as though his team is imposing a unilateral 20% pay cut, so he could be able to get out of his current obligation. Any opportunity to get a new client is extremely exciting, especially when it’s player of his caliber. He’ll be arriving in Chicago later this week, so sitting down with him will be step one.

Well since I’ve got a lot going on this week (what else is new?), I’d better get to work. For any slackers who haven’t become a fan of the Rookie Duties Facebook Page yet, get on it. When we reach 200 fans, I’m going to give away a signed picture of Kuchin, so get your friends on board. I’ll be sure to keep the page and my Twitter account up-to-date with any major developments and until next week…it’s time to hit the showers.