Agent Pat Brisson may work out of CAA Sports in Hollywood, but there has been no glitz to his handling of clients John Tavares and Matt Duchene. Brisson has stayed out the picture, did not join his players on their trips to New York and has limited his clients’ interviews. I was grateful Pat gave me a few minutes on the phone today.
You’ve keep a low-profile, Pat, considering you’re the agent for two of the top three picks in the draft. You even worked with the Islanders keep the Long Island visits of John and Matt a secret. What’s been your thought process?
The game is the players. Always has been, always will be. I’m in what I call “the service business.” I work for them – they do not work for me. I often say I’m a “family advisor.” I’m there for the players and their families for whatever is needed. It’s not just about the contracts.
I’m happy to take your call and answer what I can, but you’re not going to hear a lot from me in the media. I wanted John and Matt to come to the Island and do what they were there for: meet the Islanders and see the community without my interference any unnecessary distractions.
Did they convey to you what they thought of their meetings?
Yes. They both were very impressed by Islanders management and Long Island. I know both John and Matt would be very comfortable if they ended up as Islanders.
Victor Hedman came with his agent, but you did not accompany either of your clients.
I would have if I thought it was necessary. I have gone on those visits in the past with other clients. I’ve known Garth Snow for 15 years and have a lot of trust in him. I was confident he and the Islanders would take care of my clients and I felt it would be a better experience for them without me. Maybe me being there changes the tone of the conversations. I did not want that. Everything worked out perfectly.
No matter who the Islanders draft first overall, the contract is not likely to be a battle.
No, it won’t be. I have been the agent for three of the last four players selected first overall – Sidney Crosby, Eric Johnson and Patrick Kane. I do not represent Steven Stamkos. With the latest CBA, these deals are basically no-brainers. You can’t ask for any more money than the CBA permits.
Once you get started, how long does a contract for a first overall draft pick take to hammer out?
Maybe 10, 15 minutes. (Laughs) Like I said, my agency is not just about the contracts. The contracts for Matt and John will be the easy part.
What is your working relationship like with the Islanders?
Very, very good. Mark Streit is a client and we had first-class, professional dealings with the Islanders last summer on Mark’s contract. Mark is very happy there. Like I said, I’ve known Garth for a while as a player and now as a manager. I know the owner, Charles Wang, is dedicated to winning and he’s trying to get a first-class facility for the team and for Long Island. The lines of communication over the last two months about John and Matt have been very strong.
What do you think is going to happen with the first overall pick?
I get the feeling either Matt or John is going to be picked first overall by the Islanders. I guess you can say I am biased, but I really feel that way. I have a very positive feeling about the Islanders and my guys, so let’s see which way it goes. The only thing else I can say is that I’m very proud to work for both of them and I’m certain they’ll have great NHL careers. If you don’t mind, I have to take this other call. Talk to you soon.
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