Kyle Dubas, Auston Matthews and their agents under review by NHL and NHLPA

Uh oh!

HockeyFeed
HockeyFeed
Published 9 months ago
Kyle Dubas, Auston Matthews and their agents under review by NHL and NHLPA
Zuma Press

This just in from NHL insider Frank Seravalli, former Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas is under review for a potential violation in his failed negotiations with the Leafs last week.

Officially Seravalli reports that the NHL is reviewing the relationship between Dubas and his agent at the high-profile Wasserman agency for potential violation of the NHLPA Certified Agent regulations. 

More from Seravalli:

The NHL Players’ Association is reviewing the relationship between former Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas and his agent at the high-profile Wasserman agency for potential violation of the Certified Agent regulations that govern agent activity, an NHLPA spokesperson confirmed to Daily Faceoff.

Dubas was represented in his recent negotiations with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment by Chris Armstrong, of Wasserman Sports, the same agency that also represents Toronto superstar Auston Matthews.

NHLPA Certified Agent regulations prohibit agents from representing and providing services to any officer or employee of an NHL club. Armstrong is not currently an NHL certified agent and therefore not subject to discipline by the NHLPA; Armstrong is predominantly a golf agent and represents professional golfers Tony Finau and Cameron Champ, among others, for Wasserman.

The question for the NHLPA to determine: Are agents working for the same agency, but in a different division or arm of the firm, also prohibited from representing hockey executives on the other side of the table?

- Frank Seravalli

So, it looks like the issue at hand is that both Dubas and players like Auston Matthews cannot be represented by the same agency as it could create a conflict of interest. 

Direct wording of the rule in question:

Agents are prohibited from … representing, providing services to, either directly or indirectly, or engaging in or proposing to engage in business ventures with … any officer, employee or independent contractor of an NHL Club, other Professional Hockey Club or Canadian Major Junior Hockey Club or any other entity affiliated with any of the foregoing, including but not limited to coaches, general managers, scouts and locker room personnel.


Personally, I didn't even know this was a rule and it strikes me as kind of funny. After all, isn't the agent simply working in the best interests of his client? If I'm an agent for Dubas or Matthews, I'm simply trying to get them the best deal possible with no real regards as to how the two affect each other.

In any case, Seravalli reports that the NHL warned teams back in 2022 that these types of dealings will be more strictly enforced moving forward and it looks now like Dubas is the first team employee to be under review. It's unclear what the penalty is for violating this rule and whether or not that penalty will ultimately be made public.