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Provide real advisors to the young players



“Provide real advisors to the young players” was the first thing that crossed my mind when the Jacob Trouba affair was in vogue (it still is in some sense).

A lot of rumours and statements were circulating in media and social channels, and god knows what is truth or just pure hogwash on a farm in the outback of Texas.

However, I feel troubled somehow when I read some of the young players’ official statements that they love the club but they feel the need for another challenge blah, blah, blah. (You know how it goes, no need to stretch it out)

Perhaps it’s just me and perhaps I am the only one who gets struck by the feeling that some of those comments are not entirely true, that those words are not theirs, but rather someone else’s, an agent’s words.

I am aware all too well that the agent’s duty is to negotiate the best contract possible for their players/clients, and I am after all positive that most of the agents really want their client’s best and do everything for that.

But, I know also better than I actually want to know that the agent business is not the cleanest in the world, as it has very dark sides as well.

We’ve read all too many reports during the years about affairs that don’t stand daylight and about money that found its route under the tables between people who should stay in prison for a long time rather than be outdoors.

In the long run, it causes troubles for the clubs who try to build up something strong and sound for a longer period, not to mention how much it hurts the sport.

The latest that was exposed on the stage of frauds was Sam Allardyce, who recently was fired by the English FA. I know, it’s another sport than hockey, but still…

I think the worst thing is when agents plant sweet words in the player’s ears, especially in young players, that it is better elsewhere and they are promised milk and honey if they just do this or that.

And, then comes the statement “I love this club, the city, and the fans but…”

The door downwards has opened and there is no return.

So, I strongly suggest mentors or life coaches rather than agents for the players, especially for the rookies and those who have started the career. People who know one thing or two, someone who really wishes to give real guidance on how to handle the professional hockey life and how to choose which route to take.

Because, it’s easy to be blinded by all the money and all the comforts you never had before, and a younger player has not that perspective of life that an older mentor would have.

A life coach, mentor, and tutor – you name it – off the ice could be a much better support, who could be someone to talk to, express feelings and whatever crosses the mind.

Someone who, besides the coach, honestly tell the players that if you are good enough, if you act like the star player you really want to be, you will get your opportunity to win the Cup or play in the Olympics, or whatever, if you keep working hard and being present.

But if you utter “I love this club, the city, and the fans…” nonsense and want to run for what you imagine to be sweet, then the outcome will most likely be something else, something you didn’t want to happen in the first place.

I am after all somehow convinced that most of the players despite the age want to be remembered as a loyal and trustworthy player who worked hard and did everything they could for the club they played for.

So, looking on this from another aspect, if I were a young professional hockey player, I had better watch out for the agents and what they try to tell or/and convince.

To the last, this is something every upcoming star player should be aware of:

A man who is a master of patience is master of everything else.

-George Savile


  1. Yes, Canada won as expected, but it was tougher than expected. Nonetheless, they won the World
  2. It was an unnecessary tournament after all as it was hard to fill the ACC to the brim during the games, even during the two final games. Better to stick to the Olympics, because it is after all the greatest competition with greater probabilities for the game to be exposed.
  3. And, yes, I am an educated life coach, so, I have some inkling of what I am talking about in the article and my intention is to share my view, to make the hockey world a bit better.

*These players in the image for this article has nothing to do with the article. 

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Arto Palovaara, Sunday Chronicler for Sports Rants Europe. Previously, he contributed for the betting company Betsafe, Svenska fans, Get real hockey and Ice nation UK. He is also an educated archaeologist and life coach who loves literature and history. Not to forget: probably he is the only sportswriter that plays the banjo.