According to Capitals Insider (Dec. 30):
"Ovechkin's mom does not represent him. I'm told he's been handling the negotiations himself, with the guidance of a lawyer."
Mike Gartner, the 32-year-old Ranger right wing who is an active member of the National Hockey League Players' Association bargaining unit, is fed up with agents' fees.
He has decided to represent himself in ongoing contract talks with General Manager Neil Smith, which is not something the people from ProServ, or Advantage, or a thousand other professional sports agencies across the land will be eager to hear.
"The business has gone too far," Gartner said. "I don't think the agents are involved enough to take 5 percent, which over a five-year contract span can be as much as $250,000." No Hard Feelings.
Gartner has therefore broken from Gus Badali, an agent he said has "nothing but good feelings about," to start wheeling and dealing on his own.
Correct me if I am wrong, but in Ovechkin's case for the 45 million 5 year contract the agent's fee would be 2.25 million.
People always come out and say that having a Sports Agent is an unnecessary extra cost. Players should be able to negotiate their own contracts and handle all of their off-field issues themselves, right?
Wrong. Doug Brown, a defensive lineman in the CFL gives 2 reasons why he has an agent :
1) So that he and the general manager of his team do not enter a personal arena where playing on the team becomes uncomfortable.
2) He admits that he is “not trained in the language, rules or wording of legal documents.”
Latest case in point: Daunte Culpepper. Whether you think the situation is right or wrong, Daunte has been unable to practice with his current Miami Dolphins teammates (he is still under contract) so far in mini-camp. Culpepper says that he does not want to be traded and that he will not show up to play for any team that gains the rights to him through a trade (an agent may persuade him to not make such comments to the media). That’s right, Daunte Culpepper acts as his own agent.
This is a case where it would be wise to have a third-party come in to handle disputes between player and team. Just look back to Doug Brown’s statements laid out in the beginning of this post. The situation has now become uncomfortable and Daunte is does not have the best legal background to backup his threats.
This sort of first-hand bargaining is clearly not for everyone. But Gartner is a well-educated consumer -- as well as the second-highest active goal-scorer in the league, behind Wayne Gretzky -- and Smith does not expect to extract any bargains.
"Face to face, it's usually a difficult situation, because of the sensitivity of the player," Smith said. "You're critiquing a player directly to him."
"I think with Mike, though, he's an older guy, not egotistical and when I say things he won't get mad," Smith added. "And at least I'll know he's getting his version of the talks straight from me, and not from somebody else."
This means GMGM have to tell Ovechkin that because he is from Europe he can't speak good Canadian and much worse than Crosby in this department. :-)
And finally an interview reminder with Alexander Ovechkin who was asked about Sidney Crosby's contract (July 10, 2007).
"What can I say? Good for Crosby! It is easier for any player to come out and play when he knows that his future is secure. I think Pittsburgh wasted no time offering Crosby the deal because of what Edmonton did trying to sign a restricted free agent. Any Canadian team (and not only Canadian) could have offered great terms to Crosby in the future. And who knows if the Penguins could have matched it. But now Sindey is staying in Pittsburgh, and will stay there beyond 2013, in my opinion."
When asked about his contract, Ovechkin said:
"I will negotiate with the Capitals myself. To be precise, I will wait for their offer. If I like it, I will sign the contract. If I don't, then I will get myself an agent (I don't have one right now) to represent me in talks with the Capitals."