I am sure if you put a group of NHL agents in a room there would be much debate on whether or not they should publically come out and defend a client.
It usually means calling out a coach or an organization with the hope of getting more ice time or a change in the role of a player. One thing for sure is that it takes the player off the hook. When members of the media come calling after a "calling out," the player can say "it was my agent."
NHL agent Allan Walsh went public last week to defend his client, Tomas Vokoun after what he felt was unnecessary public criticism by Dale Hunter.
Hunter pulled Vokoun two days in a row. Whatever Walsh may say, the Capitals' Vokoun was weak during games versus Carolina and then Ottawa at a time when Washington needed him most.
It took Walsh past the boiling point. I am sure he tries other tactics prior to going public, but this time he decided to push the go public button.
It wasn't the first time Walsh has gone public to defend his client. He did it previously for Martin Havlat while he was in Minnesota and for Derek Brassard in Columbus.
On Oct. 28, 2010 Walsh felt Havlat wasn't getting enough ice time, especially after signing a long-term contract with Minnesota. Walsh spoke critically about Minnesota and by coincidence or not Havlat's ice time began to improve.
Havlat - 2010-11
|Thru 10/27/2010||10/28/2010 & Thru End of Season|
|Points||6 (0.75 per game)||56 (0.80 per game)|
In December of 2011 Walsh came out in defence of Brassard, a client who he felt wasn't being used in an appropriate manner. Both his ice time and point production began to improve.
Brassard - 2011-12
|Thru 10/30/2011||12/01/2011 & Since|
In both cases Havlat and Brassard seemed to respond to the situation. Both players have suffered through injuries and other factors have contributed to what has happened lately, but is it right for an agent to speak out in defence of a client? Walsh told me "my job is to do what is best for my client."
Vokoun hasn't been back between the pipes since. Knowing the no-nonsense style of Washington coach Dale Hunter, he may never get back in, regardless of what an agent has to say.
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