With all the sniping and threats of lawsuits going back and forth between Chris Chelios and super agent Don Meehan, it’s hard to believe that Meehan actually once represented Chelios.
Then again, the way the two of them parted more than a decade ago, maybe not.
One of the interesting backstories to the Chelios-Meehan imbroglio is that in the early 1990s, Meehan was Chelios’s agent.
When Chelios broke into the league in 1984, he was represented by Art Kaminsky, but left Kaminsky to join Meehan early in his career. A few years later, however, Chelios left Meehan to join the stable of Tom Reich.
Only one problem. Meehan accused Chelios of being in arrears of his agent fees and sued Chelios to recover the money. The two sides settled out of court, but not after a rather acrimonious battle in which Meehan recovered almost all of his fees.
That’s not to say this is what has motivated Chelios to be so critical of Meehan, but it certainly makes one wonder whether Chelios still has an axe to grind.
Last week, Chelios was quoted in two Detroit publications as saying that Meehan undermined the efforts of the NHL Players’ Association during the lockout, comments he later clarified by saying he was misquoted.
The Chelios-Meehan lawsuit happened back in the days prior to the NHL’s agent certification program. At that time, if an agent was faced with a player not paying his fees, he had no recourse but to sue the player.
Now the agent must file a grievance with the NHLPA and the matter goes to an independent arbitrator.
And while it’s certainly not an epidemic in the industry, it happens a lot more than most people would think.
Meehan has issued a notice of libel to both Chelios and the media outlets that published his comments.