Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Free Agency: Job Hunting the Big Bucks

So if you really think about it, the NHL free-agency frenzy is basically job hunting on a really grand scale. You leave one job, for whatever reason; they don't love you, you don't love them, etc., and you search for a new one. You hope that the choice will be yours. You hope that you will have so many offers that you will have to really think long and hard to make a decision. You hope.

I have this conversation, or should I say arguement with my husband every year at this time. I hate this time of year. I do not like change. If I've built an attachment to the players on my roster I like them to stick around. I generally wait nervously biting my nails by the radio waiting to hear who will go and who will stay. In certain cases over the years, when those I wished would stay abruptly left, I would silently cry at my computer and answer emails from friends saying they were sorry. No. I don't like the free-agency frenzy.

But how do the families of these men feel? (Okay, here's where the arguement comes in) "Who cares!" my husband would yell at me. "They make millions of dollars to play a GAME. You're going to feel SORRY for them? Are you out of your mind??" And off he'd go into the yard mumbling at me.

Yes, I must be out of my mind because I can't help but think of the wives and children who wait and wonder as well. It's July, the children need to know where they are going to school in September. They need to know if they will have friends in their new home. They need to know if they will be moving or if Daddy will come around every few weeks when there's a break in the schedule. If Daddy isn't going to live home, who will help get with the kids day to day lives.

I'm sorry, but on a family dynamic level, these are stressful conditions for anyone. Then you throw the Agent into the mix and it just gets tricky. You have seen it before. Some NHL agents haven't given their client's the best career advice. "It's not what you're worth. It's what you negotiate." is great on a monetary level. But it can be a career killer. Take Alexei Yashin for instance and the current situation with Scott Gomez.

Is it really their fault that they have the most maligned contracts in NHL history? Probably not. I'd look to their agents that told them what a great deal they were getting.

So while we all wait for the next "BIG DEAL" of the "FAF" there are families whose lives sit in limbo. As glamourous as it is for a young man with no ties to a family to pick-up and pack his belongings in his car and drive to the next city, it's a little tough when a man has to leave his kids crying in the doorway.

But yes, I understand. Contracts worth $3.5 million a year can buy a boat-load of tissues. But it's still gotta hurt.

Dust off those "Free Agent Sprinkles" Garth. We've got a few spots to fill this year.

1 comment:

Meg said...

Thanks for putting a little humanity into the madness of free agency. I couldn't agree with you more!