Allan Walsh of Octagon Hockey is one of the most influential VIP’s in the hockey business. Allan grew up in Chomedey, Laval in the province of Quebec. He was a Habs fan like most young kids living in or near Montreal including myself. He idolized Montreal Canadien great Ken Dryden and wanted to be an NHL goalie. Allan’s dream of becoming an NHL goalie ended when he figured out he didn’t have the size required to play the position. By the time Allan was of high school age he knew he wanted to be a lawyer. After high school he enrolled at McGill University in Montreal as an undergrad and played with Mike Babcock when he was there. Later on he arrived in Los Angeles and enrolled in Southwestern Law School to advance his career.
Allan had this to say about his idol Ken Dryden.
Allan Walsh quote – Ken Dryden was the goalie of the Montreal Canadiens at the time and was the only player in NHL history to be a full-time NHL player and a full-time law student,”
After spending a couple years at Southwestern, Allan obtained an internship at the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office. Allan served as the Los Angeles County deputy district attorney from 1989-95 and was a prominent prosecutor. His office was just down the hall from Marcia Clark who was the lead prosecutor in the OJ Simpson murder trial. Allan specialized in gang violence cases. I was living in Las Vegas at the time working for the Las Vegas Thunder of the IHL and the racial tension from OJ Simpson’s murder trial was very high in the City. Everyone was worried that a guilty verdict would set off riots that would be felt all over the US. I can’t imagine what the tension was like in Los Angeles. Los Angeles had just recovered from the Rodney King incident in 1991 just 3 years earlier.
After leaving the Los Angeles County District Attorney office Allan Walsh decided to become an NHL player agent. In October 2004 Allan became part of Octagon Hockey and is now co-managing director of the firm. Allan represents over 30 NHL players including popular names like Marc Andre Fluery, Max Pacioretty, Vladimir Tarasenko, Jonathan Huberdeau and Jonathan Drouin. Allan is a hard nosed negotiator and respected by players and other NHL VIP’s around the league. Allan Walsh protects his clients rights, promotes their interests and maximizes their compensation. He cares deeply about players, he isn’t just about the money he brings in as a top agent in his field. He is known as an outspoken man who speaks his mind and calls out injustice when he sees it. He isn’t afraid to butt heads with people in executive positions in the NHL including commissioner Gary Bettman.
Marc-Andre Fluery had this to say about Allan.
“He has very strong opinions, but the biggest quality about him is he really cares about his players”
The following is a quote from Allan regarding his passion.
“To me, I worship the players that built this game,” Walsh added. “I have incredible respect and reverence for them. And to have these players … they built the game on their backs and for the league now to turn away from them and shrug their shoulder and in one case that was publicized recently with Joe Murphy, hang up on them. To me it’s egregious, it’s disgraceful and I don’t know how certain people live with themselves. But as I sit here as an advocate for players, I’m never going to shut up, I’m never going to be quiet on this topic and I’m going to continue to advocate because people have to understand these are the guys who made the game what it is today. The NHL has $4.5 billion going to $5 billion in revenue today because of them and they need to be taken care of.”
Allan Walsh has called Los Angeles home for the past 34 years. Allan is very busy on Twitter and when he isn’t speaking about hockey you will find him tweeting about Bruce Springsteen. He is a huge Springsteen fan and has seen over 120 concerts. His favorite song is “Born to Run”.
I had the pleasure of meeting Allan at a top prospects game in Kelowna in 2012. Allan was sitting with Rick Vallette another player agent who represents Ryan Nugent Hopkins and others. My wife and I were sitting directly in front of them and she was looking around to see who was in the building. She is an autograph hound. She noticed two men well dressed behind us and before I knew it she started a conversation by asking who they were. I was a little embarrassed because I knew Allan was one the most influential people in hockey.
Allan and Rick were really accepting of the conversation. My wife told Allan she was really impressed with Matt Murray and that he should sign him to Octagon. She said “I want points when you sign him” in a jokingly way of course, so we all had a good laugh. I will never forget that conversation because Allan never acted in a bad way. He was very receptive and cordial. I can see why players say what they say about him. To this day he remains my favorite hockey personality.