Brian Elliott

Once a hockey Dad, always a hockey Dad, but to be the father of a goaltender is different kind of experience. Brian started out as a player, but by the time he turned eleven, he wanted to be in net.  This is not always the news a hockey dad wants to hear, but that’s the way he wanted to do it. Early on he moved out of house league and into rep hockey and some coaches saw something in Brian. They would come to me and discuss the many options that could develop for my son. There was never any shortage of advice.  After his first and only year in Jr.A hockey another couple of decisions had to be made.  First he turned eighteen, and Brian opted into the NHL draft. Next would be the decision to either join the ranks of the Kitchener Rangers in the OHL, or sign up with a scholarship in the NCAA. Brian and I always discussed the pros and cons of each, but I must say I always leaned toward the college route. I was very Proactive in making contact with NCAA coaches offering them first a short email with an attached Stat sheet, and then offering them a very good tape on Brian in game mode. My business was television and film so this part was easy part al-be-it extremely time consuming. I found without exception, the NCAA coaches always wanted to get good tape on a player.

On the third weekend in June 2003 Brian was drafted by the Ottawa Senators. That’s when the phone really got busy in our house. Invites to OHL camps started to roll in along with many US colleges stepping up and offering full rides for Brian to attend their program.

The incumbent OHL champions Kitchener Rangers asked Brian to attend their camp. We were only allowed one Major A camp in those days so we passed on the Mississagua Ice Dogs and the Barrie Colts. Brian did very well at the Ranger camp and was offered the number one spot on the team and a four year package at any Canadian university of his choice. Brian asked if he could have twenty four hours to think about it and left that camp feeling confident and satisfied that this was an option to be considered. As we drove home that after noon Brian made up his mind. He wanted to play hockey while he attended university. It was going to be a scholarship.

In  July I received a call from Mike Eaves coach of the Wisconsin Badgers.  Mike’s son Patrick was also drafted by Ottawa that summer. The Badgers needed a goalie and it was the Ottawa scouts that informed Mike about Brian. He asked for a tape so I had one sent to him the next day. Later that week Brian and I were on a plane for an official visit to the University of Wisconsin.

So much happened that summer, and there were many calls from Player Agents wanting to sign up Brian and represent him. But Brian is a guy that plays by the rules and since you weren’t really allowed to have an Agent while attending university, he really didn’t want to enter into any discussions with them.  He didn’t want any distractions. I guess the agents kept persisting but Brian still didn’t want to even start discussions until after his Junior year. His method of deflecting these calls was simple. He told them all “If you can get by my Dad, then I’ll talk to you.”  2006 was Brian’s junior year and the Badgers were headed for the Frozen Four. I was getting three or four calls a week back then, but it’s hard to get a read on an Agent without a face to face meeting. I told all them that I would be in Wisconsin for the Playoffs and we could set up some time then. A few of Brian’s team mates were trying to apply some pressure to sign with “their guy”, but Brian was only interested in winning the Championship. I really can’t remember how many agents I talked to that weekend, but there was really only one that was head and shoulders above them all.

Enter Kurt Overhardt  of KO Sports from Denver. Kurt took the high road and just waited for the right time to meet. When that meeting came along, I found that Kurt was not only the most prepared Player agent I met, he even gave me a list of twelve NHL players, their phone numbers and the phone numbers of their father’s too. This was a very impressive source of reference, but Kurt had also produced a wonderful package of how things are done at KO Sports, and where he saw Brian down the road as he was about to enter into the ranks of the professional hockey player.

Brian and I discussed all of the options and we kept coming back to Kurt. Soon Brian and Kurt came to terms and after Brian graduated, a deal was made and my son had a new advisor in his life. What was to become of me the hockey Dad?  You spend so much of your life trying to make the right decisions for your son, and all of a sudden, you’re not needed anymore. This can be very traumatic for a parent, but Kurt is used to dealing with this situation and chooses to maintain an inclusive approach in dealing with a player. Comforting for a goalie dad.

When  a hockey player turns Pro., it’s time to turn over the business side of things to the Pro’s.  I talked to Brian at length and asked him what his thoughts were on the matter, and I know that we made the best choice in a Player Agent.

Kurt has a personal relationship with every General Manager in the league. He is well respected and level headed. He knows when to make the right move and instils a level of trust for the player and the GM.  Kurt is a “down to earth guy” and has excellent communication skills. He takes pride in his follow through, and is never more than a Phone Call / Text / or email away. A player might have questions on many topics like Player Insurance or taxes. Brian claims that Kurt has a wealth of knowledge about these matters and he trusts Kurt’s opinion.  When you come right down to it, it’s all about trust. If Brian is happy, then I am happy too. I know I don’t have the roll I once did, but it’s still nice to be kept in the loop. It’s also comforting to know that there is someone out there, a true professional, respected by his peers, the players, and the GM’s that is representing your son.

Bill Elliott

The Gold Standard. KO Sports is committed to providing its clients with the utmost in personal service and innovation. We continuously set trends in the hockey business, including: precedent setting contracts, innovative endorsement, licensing and marketing opportunites Our goal is to set new standards for our clients and maximize their potential for personal growth, professional development, and financial success.