By most accounts, Gillis (pictured here from back in his playing days) is the kind of agent that, um, gets top dollar for his clients - this is the guy, after all, who got Bobby Holik $9 million per year from the Rangers:
Despite a six-year career in the NHL, Gillis is no sentimentalist. His role as an agent is not the culmination of a boyhood fantasy or some thwarted dream of athletic glory. He's not in the profession to hobnob with his old pals from his playing days. He often counsels his clients on how to maximize their talents -- and paycheques -- at the NHL level.... He has traded barbs and epithets with the toughest GMs -- some of them former teammates or opponents. He states his goal succinctly: "Maximizing compensation is the first and foremost part of my job."Sounds like a real sweetheart, doesn't he?
So when the Oilers offered more money than the Caps did to acquire Nylander's services, Gillis must have assumed that the deal was done, and allegedly he gave the Oilers indications to that end. But, in the player's mind, the deal clearly was not done, as there were factors other than money in play - imagine that.
Which brings us to where we are today - with one pissed off team, one shady agent (redundant, I know), and one player who is caught in the middle. Suddenly, Alex Ovechkin's decision to can his agent and hire his mother to do his negotiating doesn't seem like such a bad idea, does it?