SBJ/April 1-7, 2013/Labor and Agents

Hagelin, Desharnais lead wave of new clients at CAA Hockey

Liz Mullen
It’s been a big few weeks for CAA Sports’ hockey division. The group has signed a number of young NHL players, including New York Rangers wing Carl Hagelin and Montreal center David Desharnais. It also has signed Nashville wing Brandon Yip and Chicago wing Andrew Shaw.

Pat Brisson and J.P. Barry, co-heads of the hockey group, will represent the players, along with CAA Sports agent Claes Elefalk.

The players range in age from 21 to 27 and provide an infusion of youth to the firm’s roster of more than 65 NHL clients.

Hagelin was formerly represented by r4pa LLC, which was recently sold to Legacy Global Sports (SportsBusiness Journal, March 25-31 issue). Desharnais was formerly represented by Madison Avenue Sports & Entertainment. Yip was formerly represented by Global Hockey Consultants Inc., while Shaw was unrepresented.

It was not clear why the players switched representation.

In addition to signing Desharnais, CAA Sports negotiated for him a four-year, $14 million contract extension with the Canadiens. Desharnais has been with Montreal for his full NHL career after going undrafted in 2008.

The other three players also were not highly touted in their draft years, but each now has established himself in the NHL. Yip was an eighth-round pick in the 2004 draft, while Shaw was a fifth-round pick in 2011. Hagelin was taken in the sixth round of the 2007 draft by the Rangers and went on to win the NHL All-Star fastest skater skills competition in 2012.

Meanwhile, CAA Sports hockey agents are serving as advisers to several top prospects in this June’s NHL draft. Those prospects include defenseman Seth Jones, center Nathan MacKinnon, center Max Domi, wing Connor Hurley and center Justin Bailey. Jones is ranked No. 1 and MacKinnon No. 2 in the NHL Scouting Report rankings for North American skaters. Jones is the son of former NBA player Popeye Jones, now an assistant coach of the Brooklyn Nets. Domi is the son of former NHL enforcer Tie Domi.

In hockey, agents typically serve as unpaid advisers without written contracts to young players. This allows the players to retain their NCAA eligibility should they choose to play hockey in college. As a practical matter, hockey agents who serve as a prospect’s adviser in the draft typically are hired by that player after he turns professional.

> PINNACLE SIGNS WORLD PEACE, OTHERS: New York-based basketball player representation firm Pinnacle Management Corp. has signed Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace for representation. He will be co-represented by Pinnacle President Marc Cornstein and Doug Davis, who is World Peace’s personal attorney as well as an NBPA-certified agent.

World Peace, who went by Ron Artest before changing his name in 2011, was represented by David Bauman of Lagardère Unlimited. It was unclear what caused him to switch representation.

“We are excited to be representing Metta,” Cornstein said. “He is a great name, and he is having a great season.”
World Peace was averaging more than 12 points and five rebounds per game this year in a season that otherwise has been largely disappointing for the Lakers. He suffered a knee injury last Monday, though, and his timetable for return was not immediately known.
After this season, World Peace has a one-year player’s option that will pay him $7.7 million. Cornstein said they would explore opportunities before deciding whether to remain with the Lakers.

Pinnacle has also signed guard Sasha Vujacic, who has played for both the Lakers and Nets but who is now playing for Anadolu Efes of the Turkish Basketball League. Additionally, Pinnacle signed forward Dario Saric of KK Cibona, a team in the Croatian League, for representation in this year’s NBA draft. Cornstein will represent both players.

Cornstein founded Pinnacle in 1998 and has specialized in representing players who were born in Europe for contract work with both overseas teams and NBA clubs. Pinnacle represents five NBA players and about 35 players who are on teams in Europe and Asia.

Liz Mullen can be reached at lmullen@sportsbusinessjournal.com. Follow her on Twitter @SBJLizMullen.

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