On Wednesday, May 13, Jay Grossman ’87 gave a talk to Union students and faculty regarding his experiences as a lawyer for the NHL.
Grossman, a Union alumnus of the Class of 1987, was once quickly skating across Messa Rink’s ice as a member of the Union Men’s Ice Hockey team. Grossman has left Union’s small rink, making his way to the National Hockey League.
Although Grossman is not a player in the NHL, he is a representative and lawyer for the players of the NHL, primarily in negotiating contracts. Grossman is the president Puck Agency. Puck Agency not only supplies representation for well known players, but also offers many other services for players, including but not limited to: taxes, marketing, insurance, transportation arrangements and bills.
Grossman has represented NHL players such as Ilya Kovalchuck. The contract Grossman negotiated for Ilya Kovalchuck was the second largest ever recorded in NHL history, worth $102 million for 17 years at the New Jersey Devils. Brian Leetch, whom Grossman personally believes to be one of the greatest if not the greatest defenseman in the NHL, was another one of his clients.
Grossman discussed the high pressures of his job — which he loves — but emphasized its demanding nature. He chatted about how his wife jokes about him being something like a doctor, because he is accessible 24/7 to his clients.
As a result of the NHL being a sport with participants from all over the world, Grossman’s clientele includes people from places such as Russia, Canada and the Czech Republic, which is just one of the reasons he is on call all the time. Another reason is because he feels that since his clients — the players — are always on the job, he should be too.
Grossman then went on to discuss the 2012-2013 NHL lockout and the impact of the cap that evolved from the lockout. He elaborated that to most sports, a lockout is inevitable, and feels it is unfair to the players due to the players lost in the process. However, Grossman feels overall that there was no impact in his negotiating.
Other clients of Grossman come from his scouting camp. Grossman does not only represent current NHL players, but also views scouting videos of numerous hockey players around the age of 13 to recruit for a player development camp.
This development camp eventually guides these players to potentially partake in the NHL draft, perhaps becoming future NHL players. Grossman’s player development includes focuses on strength training, overall condition and nutrition.
While at Union College, Grossman was editor-in-chief of the Concordiensis, had a part time job as a video analyst for the New York Rangers and Herb Brooks, was a member of the hockey team and had a leadership role in his fraternity.
Grossman reflected on his experiences and stated that it was great to be back on Union’s campus once again. His connections with Herb Brooks and the New York Rangers during his part-time job in college led to his desire to do something within the hockey industry.
At first unsure of where this would lead him, he made the decision to attend law school, which ultimately led him to his current career path.