Friday, 22 June 2007

NHL Draft: Chicago takes Kane 1st overall

Chicago has taken Pat Kane 1st overall in the NHL draft. No surprise as he was rated in the top 3 by most scouts, associations and journalists.

It will be interesting to see if he carries through with his claim that he does not want an agent representing him.

Some may see this as a sign of a strong-minded player who doesn't take grief from anyone. Others may see it as hyper-sensitivity and an inability to understand which battles are worth fighting.

As an 18 year-old about to be plunged into the heady world of professional sports in a big American city that actually cares about hockey, the last he thing needs on his mind is the added worry of going it alone when negotiating his 1st contract. Of course, the presence of an agent does not alleviate all worry and time associated with such an undertaking but it certainly relieves some of the burden.

One of the most oft-used cliches when trying to mentally prepare someone who is about to be shafted is "it's nothing personal," to which I have often responded "everything's personal." However, in this case I believe Kane and those around him should step back and consider talking to some experienced people who have the knowledge, contacts and track records associated with representing NHL players. The only reason no agents came knocking earlier is that, well, he may have been going through a slow period of development. Similarly, once he is playing in the league a stretch of poor play may result in changing reactions from fans, management and those who cover the game.

This is just the way it works. Nothing personal...

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