Player agents can make good NHL general managers.
Sure, Mike Barnett didn’t exactly do right by the Phoenix Coyotes (blame his coach), but for all the grief that Mike Gillis took in Vancouver on the player personnel side, they’re $11 million under the cap for next season. Hell, even the Luongo contract was seen as a cap winner until, as Gillis is fond of pointing out, the CBA made it toxic.
Agent Pat Brisson is, by all accounts, as shrewd as they come. He’d make a great general manager candidate, all super smart and silver-tongued and with plenty of backers in the media.
But he’s also someone that makes a mint representing players like Sidney Crosby with none of the headaches inherent in managing an NHL team like, say, the Pittsburgh Penguins.
So he told Bob McKenzie of TSN that’s he’s taken his name out of the Penguins GM search pool:
"Ron (Burkle), Mario (Lemieux) and I have been friends for a very long time. We've been linked to each other for many years and have exchanged ideas on many fronts and the business of hockey especially. They reached out on possible candidates for the vacant GM job on Friday. As for me, I am happy with what I do at CAA and will continue on the path of representing players."
Brisson was previously linked with the Montreal Canadiens’ general manager opening in 2012, saying at the time that “I grew up in Montreal, yes, but at the same time, CAA has built this tremendous business. The bottom line is I feel proud to have built this practice that I have at this point, and this is where I am focused.”
(Of course, we’ll see where that all stands if and when there’s a Quebec expansion franchise, and if Brisson-endorsed owner Pierre-Karl Peladeau comes calling with an offer that entices him to own hockey ops for Nords 2.0.)
The happiest person to hear this Brisson news? Sidney Crosby.
If Brisson replaced Ray Shero as GM there was zero chance Crosby wasn’t going to be portrayed as the petulant star who forced out the guy who wouldn’t get him a winger so his agent could get the job.