Headline Hockey Sports Agents

Rookie Duties: Turning the Heat Up

First off, I want to wish all our veterans and active members of the armed services a very happy Memorial Day. We often take the freedoms that we have as Americans for granted, and all those responsible for providing us with the rights that we now have deserve to be thanked for all the sacrifices that have been made.

Well, it’s t-minus 25 days until the 2010 NHL Draft, and as usual, my schedule has been nothing close to ordinary. It all began Monday night when I received a Skype call from Andrey. As I know I have mentioned, we’ve been working to get Kuch his Visa for entry back into the U.S. this month. Small problem though – Andrey and his family were going to be traveling abroad for a few days, which means he needed his Passport with him and couldn’t submit it to the U.S. Consulate in Moscow. That meant that we were going to have to get everything in place so that the minute he arrived back in Russia, he could schedule his Visa interview. One key piece was his formal invitation letter, and I needed to get it to Andrey before his trip. So at 12:30am last Tuesday morning, I headed into my office to get the letter signed, scanned, and emailed out. Normally I don’t mind being in my office during odd hours, but with temperatures in the 90s and the air conditioning shut off in my office building for the night, things got a little sticky. By 1:45am I was dripping with sweat, but I got everything sent out and was finally able to call it a night. Some people might think I’m crazy, but I know I’ve preached before that if you want to be successful as an agent you have to always be ready to work.

Before the week began, I had planned on making some calls to NHL clubs regarding Andrey and the upcoming Draft. However, before I picked up the phone, I wanted to make sure I had answers to any potential questions I might be asked. Two weeks ago I spoke with Alex Zhamnov about getting a transfer card for Andrey for the 2010-11 season. Alex had been planning a trip where he’d be meeting with the Vityaz team President, and he asked me to call him back this past Thursday. Basically, I just wanted to get some confirmation that getting a transfer card would, in fact, not be an issue.

Overall, things still seem to be going smoothly. Alex spoke with the Vityaz President, and it doesn’t sound like there are going to be any problems getting a transfer card signed. I’m sure I won’t be able to completely relax until we’ve got the card signed and in the hands of his club for next season, but at this point, it’s enough to go off of when speaking with NHL scouts and management about Andrey’s plans for next season.

On Tuesday of last week, I had to deal with a minor phone crisis. My Blackberry Bold was starting to go out on me and it was looking as though I was going to have to get a replacement. Fortunately I had purchased the monthly insurance plan for the phone, but even with the protection plan, a replacement was going to cost me $125. At the same time, I was also eligible for a device upgrade, which meant I could get the iPhone 3GS for $199. To be honest, while my Blackberry was capable of doing some pretty cool things, I wasn’t all that impressed – especially considering the hefty price tag it came with. I decided to give the iPhone a try, and so far I couldn’t be any happier with my decision. I had been a little concerned about using a touch screen with the large number of emails that I have to send on my device, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how quickly you pick it up.  I’ve never considered myself and Apple person, but my recent experience may change that. Unless Blackberry makes some major strides, I don’t think I’ll be returning to them any time soon.

Besides my hockey work, things at the law firm have been picking up as well. I’ve got a couple of steady clients right now, and it’s been a nice little change of pace to my day. Not to mention, the additional income has been great. This week I should have a couple meetings with two of my clients, and have to get some of their applications filed with USCIS.

Later today, I’m actually going to be meeting fellow SAB contributor Ryan Ballard as he’s in Chicago for the weekend. We’ve been set up with another training facility not far from the United Center downtown, and the facility manager wants to show us what they can offer our hockey clients. While I’m currently still talking with the Academy of Human Performance about establishing a professional partnership with them, nothing’s set in stone at this point, and it never hurts to look into other options.

Also, I’m sure you all know that tonight I’ll be carefully watching Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals. With the Hawks in the Finals for the first time since ’91, there’s certainly a buzz throughout the city and it’s a very exciting time to be a fan of the team. As I get more and more involved with clubs at the NHL level, my days of being “just a fan” seem to be numbered, so hopefully this will be the year the Cup returns to Chicago.

Well like I mentioned, I have to meet Ryan out at the training facility in the city, and with the road construction currently going on around here I better start heading out that way. I hope you all had a safe and wonderful Memorial Day weekend and have a terrific week ahead of you. And until next week…it’s time to hit the showers.