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Old
02-05-2012, 11:48 PM
  #1
McTank
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Becoming an NHL GM

Hey I'm 16 and was wondering if anyone on here has any experience of knows what steps I need to take to become a future GM or front office person. I was searching on the Internet and found a sports management course for NHL but it is a college course and I was wondering what I Gould be doing now. I took introduction to business last year and am taking economics and accounting this year, should I be taking marketing too? And also next year I have an option for co-op which lets me go and work somewhere for a semester and get 4 credits, is there anyway I could get a co-op job in sports management?

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02-05-2012, 11:50 PM
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chadthestampede
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1.) play hockey
2.) coach hockey
3.)????
4.)Be a GM (Profit)


Good luck

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Old
02-05-2012, 11:53 PM
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McTank
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chadthestampede View Post
1.) play hockey
2.) coach hockey
3.)????
4.)Be a GM (Profit)


Good luck
Hahah I know becoming an actual GM is about that hard but there's gotta be lots of other jobs in sports management that don't require you to play in the nhl

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02-06-2012, 12:07 AM
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BuiltTagonTough
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Remember that there are only 30 jobs available at that position. Ever.

But you could do worse than focusing in on business and management and economics in school, both now and in college. There are a few capologists around the site that have an incredible and intimate understanding of the league CBA. Start reading. (Though with it changing in a year or two you'll have to re-learn it then)

Honestly...most GM's have spent a lifetime in hockey; building connections, learning from the inside and whatnot. Don't know we can help much. But you gotta start somewhere.

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02-06-2012, 12:10 AM
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Evgeni Giroux
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1) have a good nhl career
2) after career get a law or business degree
3) become assistant GM
4) become GM

Dont mean tosound like a dick but becoming GM is less likely than being a star in the NHL, follow your dreams you never know

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02-06-2012, 12:12 AM
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Myllz
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At 16 there won't be a whole lot you can do to directly start on the path. For the time being, take whatever business, economics and management classes that might be available.

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02-06-2012, 12:21 AM
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Evgeni Giroux
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If you are serious you will have to make connections with anyone in the hockey world, help out with junior and chl teams and work your way up

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02-06-2012, 12:25 AM
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McTank
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Okayy thanks for the help, it's pretty unlikely that I get to the NHL as a player at this point, wasnt drafted to the O, there's a small chance I could be a walk on in the O when I'm 18 but the NHL isn't happening, hoping I can build connection through this co-op thing or maybe an internship in college. I will try and read up on the new cba when it comes out this summer aswell

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02-06-2012, 02:28 AM
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ZZamboni
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THEYAREGOODSCARYGOOD View Post
Okayy thanks for the help, it's pretty unlikely that I get to the NHL as a player at this point, wasnt drafted to the O, there's a small chance I could be a walk on in the O when I'm 18 but the NHL isn't happening, hoping I can build connection through this co-op thing or maybe an internship in college. I will try and read up on the new cba when it comes out this summer aswell
If you're that driven and that serious... Playing in the NHL is not a prerequisite. Keep reading, researching, and connecting. Start with high school coaches, then college coaches or those that run the sports programs. Someone somewhere will have that "door" for you to kick open. Don't let anyone, anyone say no to you. Good luck and keep us posted thru the years. It would be interesting to see someone go for GM or upper management in college or professional hockey!

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02-06-2012, 05:07 AM
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Originally Posted by THEYAREGOODSCARYGOOD View Post
Okayy thanks for the help, it's pretty unlikely that I get to the NHL as a player at this point, wasnt drafted to the O, there's a small chance I could be a walk on in the O when I'm 18 but the NHL isn't happening, hoping I can build connection through this co-op thing or maybe an internship in college. I will try and read up on the new cba when it comes out this summer aswell
What type of experience do you have as far as playing hockey?
Have you played at/are you currently playing at a high level?

The OHL is arguably the best junior hockey league there is and draws from the largest and most talented pool in the world, so it's a tough league to crack.
Unless you're already playing at a high level, signing as a free agent in the OHL is very unlikely.
DI is also probably out of the question if you're not playing at a high level, but ACHA, CIS, or DIII wouldn't be.

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02-06-2012, 05:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THEYAREGOODSCARYGOOD View Post
Okayy thanks for the help, it's pretty unlikely that I get to the NHL as a player at this point, wasnt drafted to the O, there's a small chance I could be a walk on in the O when I'm 18 but the NHL isn't happening, hoping I can build connection through this co-op thing or maybe an internship in college. I will try and read up on the new cba when it comes out this summer aswell
To be serious. Stick boy is a great start. Also economics, business and marketing.

You are about 10 years too late. Play hockey in the NHL is the best way. The only person I can think of that didn't play NHL Hockey and started late was Pat Burns.

You can probably get volunteer jobs with an AHL or CHL team it would be a great deal of hard work but it is up to you to follow your dream.

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02-06-2012, 06:58 AM
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From just a pure numbers standpoint, if you don't reach the NHL or at least play some collegiate hockey, the odds are minuscule that you'd reach your stated goal of NHL GM. However, work in the accounting, scouting, and legal departments seems more feasible without requiring any hockey experience.

Assuming you have the skill and drive to play though, my advice would be to work hard at networking yourself with lower-level collegiate coaches and programs, in an attempt to gain yourself a scholarship or walk-on opportunity. Afterwards, graduate programs in law or executive management couldn't hurt either. Then, it comes down to hard work, luck, and who you know; maybe you get an internship or assistant position, maybe you don't. At worst, you'll have college degrees, which could lead to other careers in sports, like player agent or athletic director, or maybe you'll look in a different direction as you mature with age.

And FYI, just in our division alone: Regier was a former player, w/ties to Al Arbour, 1980's NYI; Burke was a collegiate/AHL player, agent, and Harvard Law grad, w/ties to his college coach Lou Lamoriello; Chiarelli was a Harvard player, agent, and law school grad; Gauthier came up the ranks as a scout w/Quebec before reaching assistant GM and GM with other teams; and Murray coached his way up from the CJHL into an NHL coaching/executive position.

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02-06-2012, 09:47 AM
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puckish66
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Woodhouse hints at a good idea. Study the background of every GM in the NHL and even (especially?) the other leagues. You might find out the common track to become a GM, and a few less likely ways of doing it.

It should be pretty easy. Every team website has a bio of the GM, and if you find the team's media guide, you'll probably see a more extensive rundown of where these guys came from.

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02-06-2012, 12:10 PM
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keithLGA
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No one knows what the sports landscape will be like in 10, 15 or 30 or 40 years from now. The GM of 2052 may be completely different than the current GM of 2012. Who knows, maybe a GM in 2022 could be someone who's a ticket rep right now and worked their way up.

I'd bet that getting into law, economics and business management are three key areas.

The biggest thing is to get embedded into the sport. Most GM's are people who've built reputations as being knowledgeable about the sport and being experts (minus Darcy).

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02-06-2012, 12:13 PM
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You might also want to start smaller for the time being. Set your sights on becoming a sports agent. Take sports management classes when they're available, etc. Any GM is going to have to be able to evaluate talent, so having training and experience as a professional scout would help you immensely.

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02-06-2012, 12:19 PM
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Burkie recently wrote an article about how to go about having a career in hockey outside of playing. Lemme see if I can find it.

EDIT: Found it.

http://www.mlse.com/win_with_us/burke_011612.aspx

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02-06-2012, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THEYAREGOODSCARYGOOD View Post
Hahah I know becoming an actual GM is about that hard but there's gotta be lots of other jobs in sports management that don't require you to play in the nhl
Be an agent. Earn 15% off someone else's talent. The way salaries are skyrocketing, find 1 high profile client and you are set for life.

Aside from professional sports, don't overlook the college sports... like being an Athletic Director. Warde Manuel is the AD at UB and he's pretty young guy and friendly. If you ask him some questions he might be able to talk about his experiences: ub-athleticdirector@buffalo.edu

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02-06-2012, 03:45 PM
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Thanks guy a lot of helpful comments, and for whoever asked I play at a high level of hockey in Toronto but was not drafted, I may consider playing NCAA a couple years from now but haven't thought that far ahead in terms of playing hockey. I will try and look through some GM bios tonight aswell. As far as a sports agent goes I did look into that but it looks to be a very tough business and there are more agents than players. If
You don't land a big fish you make next to nothing so it's very risky. I'll read that Burke article too and email wards Manuel later tonight. Thanks for all your help

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Old
02-06-2012, 03:45 PM
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http://www.sportsnetworker.com/2012/...h-lewis-howes/

Here is a webinar that might be worth watching...

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02-06-2012, 04:09 PM
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McTank
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Another quick question, why is law important? I am not taking law right now but might consider a schedule change.

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02-06-2012, 04:12 PM
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Sean McG
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I'm interested in working in a front office in the NHL or NFL and I'm studying Sports Management at University right now. I've been fairly lucky in that I know Glen Grunwald (current Knicks interim GM & Senior VP of Operations, former Raptors GM) and Kevin Abrams (NY Giants assistant GM) as family friends, so I'm able to keep in touch with them about it. They've told me the most important thing is making as many connections as you can, and to volunteer your time whenever.

Being 16, that's probably the best thing you can do- any local sporting events, try and find a volunteer opportunity and meet people. Another thing they've told me to do is read as much as you can about sports business, sports law, etc. If you're in a program like Sports Management, by the end of your schooling there are going to be thousands of other people looking for the same job that you are and they've just taken the exact same course you did, so getting any sort of advantage is pretty critical.


Quote:
Originally Posted by THEYAREGOODSCARYGOOD View Post
Another quick question, why is law important? I am not taking law right now but might consider a schedule change.
A lot of GM's in any sport have law degrees, it's not a job requirement per se but having a background in law is just another weapon in your holster.

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02-06-2012, 04:25 PM
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Another quick question, why is law important? I am not taking law right now but might consider a schedule change.
You'd be creating "legally binding" agreements so contract and labor law is applicable, though to what degree varies team-by-team. For example, the Buffalo Bills have staff in place that only handles the contract negotiations, while GM Buddy Nix purely handles team personnel.

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02-06-2012, 04:30 PM
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McTank
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Does anyone know if math is important? I'm taking advanced functions right now because math is usually important for business but i could switch that to law? Or I could probably take law next year

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02-06-2012, 04:55 PM
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Law is always an interesting skill to have. I'm not sure how much it really effects contract negotiations, since the major sports all have standard player contracts and a generally limited number of addendums that are allowed to be used.

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02-06-2012, 05:14 PM
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Evgeni Giroux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THEYAREGOODSCARYGOOD View Post
Does anyone know if math is important? I'm taking advanced functions right now because math is usually important for business but i could switch that to law? Or I could probably take law next year
HS courses won't really make a difference, take sports management or business in university.

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