Ep.8 | Insights From An NHL Agent with Ian Pulver

In this episode we hear about the habits and traits of players who stand out, as well as the pitfalls players can fall victim too, from NHLPA Certified Agent, Ian Pulver.

Show Notes and Resources

Ian Pulver, NHLPA Certified Agent

As a lawyer and NHLPA Certified Agent, Ian Pulver is the founder of the well-known hockey player agency, Will Sports Group (WSG). WSG has become a major presence in the hockey industry representing and advising some of the best players in the world including Tyler Seguin, Mike Cammalleri, Thomas Chabot, and others. Prior to forming WSG, Ian worked as a labour attorney at the NHLPA for 15 years. During his tenure at the NHLPA, Pulver participated in the negotiation drafting and enforcement of the 1992 (Strike), 1994 (Lockout) and the 2004 (Lockout) NHL Collective Bargaining Agreements. During his time with the NHLPA, he was the primary contact person interacting with players between 1991 and 2006. Pulver has been recognized on several occasions by The Hockey News as one of the most influential people in hockey. Pulver from time to time makes appearances on sports radio shows to address major issues in the sports world, as his experience is unparalleled in the industry. He resides in Toronto with his wife and three children.

Leading off this conversation, Ian discusses his 15 years as a top executive with the NHLPA where he had first-hand involvement with arbitration, bargaining agreements, and player strikes. The relationship he built with the players was a great segue to opening up his Player Agency, Will Sports Group, where his first Clients were Bryan McCabe, Mike Cammalleri, and Scott Gomez.

Ian spends time answering questions that are common among young hockey parents and players such as who needs an agent, when should a player get an agent, and what an agent can do for a player/family.

Ian explains the timing of having an agent depends the player and their family’s specific needs. For example, some players can use an Agent/Advisor as young as 13 -14 years old. The agent can help outline a path forward when the family lacks experience in navigating the hockey world.

He then goes on to highlight that communication between the agent and player is paramount to a good working relationship.  The Agent’s role is to communicate the right message to a player by providing the correct information and guidance for a given situation. A good agent should be a guide for a player on and off the ice, helping him distinguish what is important, and what is not.

Ian goes on to talk about the roughly 800 seats available in the NHL. He expresses how hard the 800 players work to keep their seat, but also gives his advice on what habits a player can adopt to increase their chances of taking a seat.

In closing, Coach Andy and Ian discuss a few person resources that have been helpful in shaping their own mentality including the books “The Way of The Fight” by Georges St. Pierre, and “The Slight Edge” by Jeff Olson.

This webinar is fantastic for all players, parents, and coaches looking to better understand some of the “business” side of hockey, and how to prepare young players to get noticed in the scouting world.

Enjoy this episode with Ian Pulver!