SBJ/October 28 - November 3, 2002/Labor Agents

Ex-players form CMG Sports with 40 hockey clients

Allain Roy, a former college hockey player who had a brief career in the NHL, has joined forces with two other NHL players-turned-agents to form CMG Sports, a St. Louis-based agency representing about 40 hockey players.

Dennis Polonich and Mel Bridgman, both former players and current agents, have brought their 40 clients, including about 15 to 20 NHL players, to CMG, Roy said. Ron Petrovicky of the New York Rangers, Jason Holland of the Los Angeles Kings and Darcy Hordichuk of the Phoenix Coyotes are among the NHL player clients of the new firm. The client list includes junior league players, minor league players, college players and other prospects who have hired the firm as a family adviser, Roy said.

Roy declined to reveal the financial terms of his deal with Bridgman, who played with the Philadelphia Flyers and New Jersey Devils, and Polonich, a former Detroit Red Wing.

"I had the capital, and what I wanted to do is get into this business and grow it," Roy said.

Roy played goalie at Harvard from 1988 to 1992 and was drafted by the former Winnipeg Jets, playing three years in their system. He played three games in the NHL before retiring.

He started a successful marketing company, Crimson Marketing Group, but missed hockey and became a certified agent earlier this year. He met Polonich and Bridgman a few months ago, and they struck a deal, he said.

In addition to Bridgman and Polonich, Roy hired four new recruiters/client maintenance employees for the company and plans to hire three to five more recruiters in the next six months.

Polonich recruits prospects in Western Canada. Bridgman does some recruiting in Canada but focuses on client maintenance, Roy said.

Roy is from the Atlantic provinces of Canada, "where very few people go to recruit [hockey players]," he said. "I plan on heavily recruiting that area."

  AXCESS BUILDING GOLF PRACTICE: Axcess Sports & Entertainment, the sports agency started by former Jacksonville Jaguars executive Michael Huyghue last year, has been quietly building a golf practice.

Axcess has signed PGA Tour veterans Fred Funk and Len Mattiace. Additionally, the company has signed 2001 U.S. Amateur champion Bubba Dickerson and Todd Barranger of the Buy.com Tour.

Huyghue said all the players have signed with the company since June, when Axcess hired Gary Verble, a former general manager of golf resorts, to head the company's golf player representation division.

Huyghue said the company is in talks with two or three major veteran PGA Tour players about joining the company.

Huyghue started Axcess with a plan to focus on NFL players, and the company represents six NFL players. But golf is becoming an increasingly large part of the business for Axcess, he said.

  CARTER GETS NEW NFL DEAL: Cris Carter has rejoined the NFL, signing a one-year deal with the Miami Dolphins, after executives at HBO allowed him to play football around his broadcast deal as one of the anchors of that network's weekly program "Inside the NFL," according to his football contract agent and his broadcast agent.

"He is a football player first, and the HBO portion has to be worked into his football schedule," said Fletcher Smith, who negotiated Carter's deal with the Dolphins. Smith was not sure exactly how Carter would work out his broadcast duties with his NFL schedule.

Smith would not comment on the details of Carter's deal. A source said the deal is worth $550,000, plus an additional $750,000 if Carter hits incentive targets.

Maury Gostfrand, vice president of RLR Associates and Carter's broadcast agent, said: "HBO has been so supportive and accommodating, Cris really appreciates it."

Liz Mullen can be reached at lmullen@sportsbusinessjournal.com.

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