At this time of the year, thousands of athlethes leave collage and enter the workforce. The best among them land jobs with professional teams in North America. The rest explore other avenues.
Consider what Jeff Hasselman did.
Hasselman, a hockey player who graduated from Notre Dame with degree in finance, was browsing the World Wide Web on the Internet when he happend upon the German Hockey Home Page. He read the headline "Players Seeking New Teams', which goes on the list "foreign" players who would like to play in Germany.
"I thought. 'Hey, why not? I've always wanted to go to Europe.'" Hasselman says.
So he posted this message: "I currently am graduating from University of Notre Dame. I am looking for possible connections to play in Europe. I am confident that my skating ability, hockey smarts and playmaking ability will allow me to excel in the European game."
The message was seen by John Hannon, whom you could call a cyberagent. Hannon, a professor of international management and human resource management at Purdue, knows a little about hockey in Germany. He has helped negotiate contracts for his brother Brian, who has played in Germany for the past five years, most recently with the Frankfurt Lions.
Says Hannon: "I contracted his coach and he sent me a tape. I've been reviewing that and been trying to figure out exactly how to market him."
Hannon has sent faxes and put out calls to coaches he knows in the German leagues.
Finding a job for Hasselman may not be easy. Hasselman was a defensive forward in collage, someone who often shadowed the opposing team's best player. But he believes he can be an offensive force in the large rinks of Europe. Hannon doesn't know if Hasselman will get a contract immediately, but he is hoping we will be invited to Germany for some tryouts.
Hasselman is excited about the prospects. He even recommended the German Hockey Home Page to his Fighting Irish teammate, Cary Nemeth, who gave it the old college try as well.
Cyberagent Hannon, meanwhile, has been impress with the initiative these aspiring professional hockey players have shown. "The time could come," Hannon says, "when we could do interviews and send clips" of players via computer.
Call that a virtual tryout.
To add your name to the list of players seeking new teams, point your browser to
--George Puro
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