Contracts. Some people don’t like them, and some people think they can just be broken when ever they want. It’s usually the same group of people that don’t like contracts and the same people that think they are made to be broken.
Contracts are a good and necessary thing in junior hockey. They describe and define the relationship between the player and the team.
All the time we hear about players and parents bitching when a team releases, trades or suspends a player. They always say it violates the contract.
Yet when players violate contracts teams are just supposed to let the player walk away or go to another team?
This position makes zero sense.
If you don’t like contracts, don’t sign one, and don’t play. If you want to play, then sign a contract. Those are your options.
A lot of “advisers” or “agents” have been helping clients break contracts lately so that the player can move from one team to another team and the agent or adviser collects a finders fee from the new team for doing the dirty work. This is the double dip scumbag variety of pretend agent or adviser.
Unfortunately the practice is becoming more and more common.
Contracts though have a way of following players. There are rules, and the rules always have a way of catching up to players.
Recently I received a phone call from a parent asking if I could help them find a new team. It turns out that the player left a team last year and did not finish paying his contract off. The team placed him on financial suspension, and did so correctly.
Now the parent and player wanted to get out of paying what they agreed to pay and move on to another team.
When I explained to the family that a negotiation would have do be done to secure a release, they still didn’t want to work things out. Their excuse was that last season had ended.
Well, if you buy a car, and stop driving it six months later, you are still responsible for paying for it whether you drive it again or not.
These kinds of things are happening more and more often. Players and parents are not thinking properly when they make these decisions, and the consequences of those decisions can last years.
Financial suspensions don’t last just one year, they last until the contract is satisfied. Meaning, two or three years later that suspension can come back to interfere with what you may be doing.
So it is always a good idea to make arrangements to leave in a professional way. If you don’t like where you are, teams will make arrangements for you to leave in most cases. They don’t have to, but they usually will, and you have to understand that getting out of a contract will come with a cost.
It is always better to leave the right way because players who leave the wrong way are always talked about, and if that’s your reputation, you will find yourself struggling to find a home in the future.
Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser