SBD/Issue 161/Sports Industrialists
NHLPA Asked To Investigate Player Agent Jay Grossman
Published May 12, 2004
IMG has asked the NHLPA to "investigate player agent JAY GROSSMAN for allegedly making cash payments to" Russian NHL draft prospect EVGENI MALKIN and his family, according to Mark Brender of THE HOCKEY NEWS. A source said that the family no longer wants the reported $50,000 payment and has asked NHLPA Exec Dir BOB GOODENOW "how they can return it." Malkin was a client of IMG until January, "at which time he switched to Grossman's PuckAgency LLC, a division of SFX Sports Group." Malkin is now back with IMG. But Grossman said that he had "not heard of any letter and had not been contacted by the NHLPA about Malkin" (THE HOCKEY NEWS, 5/11 issue). ESPN.com's Gare Joyce reported IMG is "seeking to have Grossman and his agency decertified." While the NHLPA has never decertified an agent for offering inducements to players, many agents believe that the union "will give more weight to the complaint than prior griping about the swiping of clients because it's IMG's hockey division doing the complaining." One agent: "IMG is a lot more influential than, say, an individual who has ... five or six players on his client list. (IMG) also has a reputation for being above board with its operations in Russia and the rest of Europe." Meanwhile, Joyce noted Grossman sold his former agency, Athletes & Artists, to SFX in '97. But "many doubt [PuckAgency's] independence. Grossman continued to work out of SFX's offices in Manhattan." A PuckAgency employee said that a "`paper wall' separates the agency from SFX and SFX continues to look after the public relations and marketing interests of Grossman's clients" (ESPN.com, 5/11).