from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
In the summer of 1993, after Paul Kariya was chosen fourth overall in the NHL entry draft, a steady stream of player agents made the trek to his North Vancouver home, hoping to represent the budding hockey superstar. Mr. Kariya was a student at the University of Maine and so technically couldn’t sign a contract until he turned pro, but that didn’t stop the parade.
The last to visit was also the biggest name in the business – Michael Barnett of the International Management Group, who represented, among others, Wayne Gretzky, the greatest player of all time.
Mr. Kariya grew up idolizing Mr. Gretzky, but mostly remembered Mr. Barnett’s parting words. “Michael said, ‘Of course, we would love to have Paul at IMG, but if Paul doesn’t go with us, he should sign with Don Baizley.’ ”
In the sometimes cutthroat world of professional sports representation, that sort of unsolicited testimonial is rare, but it also illustrated how high...