While the majority of the Nashville fanbase has thrown David Poile under the bus for the Shea Weber’s case reaching arbitration, step back for a moment and take a look at the other side.
For a year, Weber and Poile have both been saying that they would get a deal done. Then, in June, Weber abruptly dumped his longtime agent, Don Meehan and went to Titan Sports Management, which is run by a gentleman named Jarrett Bousquet.
Shortly thereafter, Titan Sports Management ran this highly questionable Shea Weber graphic congratulating him on numerous accomplishments (none of which he achieved under Titan representation) featuring numerous errors, including spelling “medalist” as “medilist” in 3 different places and using the plural “defensemen” to describe one player. In addition, the graphic claimed that Weber was “the only hockey player in history” to accomplish the items on the list…which is either a baffling misunderstanding of the word “only” or a baffling misunderstanding of the words “Shea Weber”, since Weber was not the only one to accomplish any of these things. The only other way to read it is as if he is the only hockey player in history to accomplish an arbitrary list of accomplishments…which is basically a baffling misunderstanding of the word “history”.
Titan later claimed that the graphic was a “preliminary draft”…preliminary for what? Who really knows? One would assume that if it were somehow a draft in anticipation of his winning the Norris Trophy that it would actually have mentioned the words “Norris” and “Trophy” somewhere on it. They were essentially congratulating Shea Weber on his achievement of being Shea Weber. Maybe they were congratulating him on the fantastic beard that he grew during the playoffs. Whatever the preliminary draft was, they never corrected the “defensemen” portion and it still shows on his bio page on their website.
Fast forward a month or so later…and Weber is suddenly nowhere to be found. Hardly a peep from the Weber camp since Titan took over, other than a few statements at the NHL Awards. A person would be hard pressed to find any sort of statement from Shea Weber that has been put on record since July 1st.
Then, during the arbitration hearing, Bousquet tweeted from the Titan account, “Just on a break at Shea Webers arbitration hearing. 1st time in NHL history a ‘team elected arbitration’ has gone to hearing.” There was just one small problem…well, two, actually, but the main problem was that Bousquet’s “fact” simply was not true. In 2006, the Panthers elected to take Roberto Luongo to arbitration and that case went to a hearing. The second issue with Bousquet’s tweet is that it seems he’s trying to add this to the long list of Shea Weber’s fake accomplishments. It’s almost as if the only things that Titan cares about is the “Accomplishments” section of Shea Weber’s Wikipedia page.
From the outside looking in, one has to wonder what Titan Sports Management could possibly be thinking. Don’t most agents at least have some PR experience…or have someone on their staff with PR experience? Bousquet has a degree in kinesiology from the University of Calgary…doesn’t exactly translate into sports agent, does it? From the public buffoonery that has been displayed, it’s not in the outside realm of likelihood that Titan has somehow managed to louse the whole deal up.
Were Weber and the Predators close before they came around? No one will really know if they were…but one has to wonder if adding Titan Sports Management actually hurt the equation. If you don’t even bother to fact check public statements and documents related to the player you are representing, what else are you not bothering to do?
So far, all they have managed to do from an outsider’s perspective is paint a picture of incompetence.