Tom Lynn

Episode 23

08 JUL 2019

An attorney who is now an agent certified by the National Hockey League Players Association and has a long career in hockey as a front office executive, including as the Assistant General Manager and Director of Hockey Administration and Legal Affairs of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild (2000 to 2009).  He wrote the book, “How to Build an NHL Franchise from Scratch: The First Era of the Minnesota Wild.”  He talks here about overcoming the stigma – the labels that people put – on being an agent, plus he gives insight on steering young athletes toward charitable considerations, and even how he has to practice what he preaches to his clients in similar decisions that he has to make with his own (six) children.

Guest quotes:

“Most of the outside world’s reaction to hearing my father was a lawyer was always negative.  And then kind of going out into the world myself and becoming an attorney initially it was a similar thing.  Then I joined an NHL team as an executive and it was the opposite.  It was almost like nothing I could do was wrong, living in a hockey state.  It would be like a football executive in Texas or a basketball executive in Indiana.  And so, all a sudden the script was flipped.  And then when I left the Minnesota Wild NHL team and became an agent, it immediately went back to the old story and I was unwelcomed many places, squinted at, if I was introduced as an agent, many people would say, ‘Ah, it’s one of them.  Watch your wallet.  Keep your hands in your own pockets’.”

“My daily prayer is for the priests of this archdiocese.”

“I hesitated to become an agent.  The very biggest hurdle I had to get over was not only the image of agents, but, so many… are not honest.  They face conflicts of interest.  They make demands and claims that aren’t true or justified.”

“Not only do I have to be consciously ethical, I have to be a salesman to a degree – which I hate.  I don’t like sales.  I was never a salesman.  I was trained as a lawyer and then a manager but now I’m in sales, to a degree.  And I’ve been thinking about that in my Catholic faith lately, that, … for many of us it’s not enough simply to be faithful, we have to learn and know how to talk about it and communicate it… in order to make it effectively faithful.”

“The devil often tempts you with things that look good or things that correspond with gifts you have.  And so if you’re an extraordinary competitive player, you have a lot of the warrior in you – of the priest, prophet, warrior, and king – so you have that in there that God’s given to you for a reason in your life, the devil will tempt you from that vantage point.”

“Our first client questionnaire when someone hires us has them list charitable causes in which they’re interested.  And we kind of work it up from there, even as amateurs, to say, ‘Do you want to get involved, so, you don’t have the money yet, but, do you want to get involved in volunteering or appearances’.”

“We can tell them all those different ways of tithing – both time and treasure.”

“I’ve met those parents many times, crossing paths, and there’s no changing them.  They’re kind of coming in with the idea, ‘I’m going to exploit my kid to the greatest extent possible’.”

“I think raising the kids is the most important thing and then sports next.””We talk about issues of wrapping your business life in with your Catholic faith.”

Related link:

Tom’s agency

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