After splitting with long-time agents Igor Larionov and Ian Pulver yesterday, it appears that Alex Galchenyuk has already found a replacement and has signed with the powerful Creative Artists Agency (CAA). His main agent is speculated to be Pat Brisson, who also represents Sidney Crosby, Anze Kopitar, Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews amongst others.
The move from Will Sports Group was a controversial one in the eyes of Larionov and Pulver, as Larionov in particular had spent a lot of time mentoring Galchenyuk. This was not always well received by Galchenyuk, who was slightly more impatient than what Larionov thought he needed to be. Galchenyuk is rightfully frustrated though as he is fourth on the team in points/60 at even strength and third in points/60 in all situations. In speaking with Pat Hickey, Pulver and Larionov expressed their disappointment with Galchenyuk.
"He didn’t fire me, he fired a Hall of Famer," Pulver said from his office in Toronto. Larionov said the breakup came down to a matter of Galchenyuk and his family not accepting his advice.
"Ian and I were trying to help him to become a good hockey player but, more importantly, to be a good human being," Larionov said. "I would speak to him every day; I think I spent more time talking to him than talking to my wife."
Galchenyuk expressed unhappiness over his ice time with the Canadiens and being benched by coach Michel Therrien in some situations. "I tried to make him understand that he has to be patient," Larionov said. "I had to wait when I was a young player; every great player has a time when he’s going to be on the bench, but you have to learn that’s part of the game."
It would seem as though this split was a long time coming, especially based on the comments from Larionov and Pulver. These are normal complaints about young players though and empathy is needed rather than bashing the player through the press. Larionov has worked with Galchenyuk since he was in junior, it probably seems personal to Larionov, but hockey is a business and players make decisions based on what they think will serve them best in the career all the time, even if people feel hurt by the decision.
On the brighter side, Marc Bergevin was asked about Galchenyuk switching agents at Hockey Canada's World Cup of Hockey management group introductory press conference, and only had good things to say about him as a player. He talked about how Galchenyuk was a big part of the future and how he expects him to be re-signed at some point. These comments are in stark contrast to how Bergevin spoke about Galchenyuk at his year-end press conference.
It's worth noting that there is no reason to worry about him joining CAA in relation to his contract talks with the Montreal Canadiens.
— JP Bertrand (@jp_tvasports) June 22, 2015
Alex Galchenyuk n'a plus d'agent. " Ça ne change rien. Les comparables sont là " mentionne le directeur général Marc Bergevin # Habs— JP Bertrand (@jp_tvasports) June 22, 2015