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NHLPA mulling rule banning agents from contacting players younger than 16

Keith Beaty / Toronto Star / Getty

The NHL's Players' Association has been pondering the institution of a ban that would prevent certain agents from reaching out to under-16 players and their families.

NHLPA spokesman Jonathan Weatherdon confirmed by email to TSN's Rick Westhead that the potential regulation would affect certified agents, and that the union has been discussing it for the past year.

"There is a lot to consider,” Weatherdon wrote. “If we put a rule like this in place, it is a very big undertaking with certified agents and prospects all over the entire world. How would we go about ‘policing’ it and at what cost? So the age limit matter is getting discussed, but a decision isn’t imminent.”

The conversation might be preliminary, but the spokesman said multiple staff members within the NHLPA are involved in the discussion, and the rule is being considered because there is "concern that increasingly young players are being recruited and signed by agents."

A pair of active NHL player agents told Westhead that some agencies hire so-called "bird-dog scouts," often former players who aren't certified, to develop ties with players as young as nine years old.

The discussion will continue when meetings between the NHLPA and its agents begin later this month.

NHLPA mulling rule banning agents from contacting players younger than 16
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