UAlberta Law welcomes Oilers Entertainment Group representatives for panel discussion

"Insights into hockey, business, and the law" panel featured Edmonton Oilers President & General Manager, Hockey Operations Peter Chiarelli.

Priscilla Popp - 11 April 2017

On March 15, much to the delight of hockey fans and law students alike, UAlberta Law welcomed three special guests from Oilers Entertainment Group (OEG).

"Insights into Hockey, Business and the Law" featured a panel comprised of Peter Chiarelli, Edmonton Oilers President & General Manager, Hockey Operations, Bill Scott, Director of Salary Cap Management and Assistant to the President of Hockey Operations, and Imran Hussainaly, Senior Legal Counsel for Oilers Entertainment Group.

The noon-hour event, presented by the Sports and Entertainment Law Society and the Dean's Office, began with introductions of each panelist by Dean Paton, who also acted as the moderator.

Chiarelli began by telling the capacity crowd gathered in McLennan Ross Hall that he hadn't necessarily planned the career he has today.

"I never planned my career to be in this position, but I did plan my career to go to law school," he said.

"Legal education is the best business training a student can get."

The idea of being both surprised - and grateful - for their career was a theme each of the panelists spoke about throughout the presentation.

"Given the place of the game in Canadian society, the opportunity to work in hockey at its highest professional level is a tremendous privilege," said Hussainaly.

Questions asked of the panel during the first half of the presentation were about experiences with players' agents, the impact of the new Las Vegas team, and the rise of hockey analytics -"on which many people work exclusively [on hockey analytics]," said Scott.

Hussainaly was asked about the kind of commercial work he does when it comes to negotiating concerts and live entertainment, a new responsibility that came to the OEG legal team with the opening of Rogers Place in September 2016.

He described the challenges artists and the entertainment industry face in trying to satisfy live entertainment demand, giving the example of Garth Brooks - who recently played a record nine sold out shows at Rogers Place - as an artist who sought to provide as many opportunities as possible for fans to attend a show.

One student asked Chiarelli about his experience dealing with other general managers, while another wanted to know if attention from fans and the media impacts behind-the-scenes operations.

"In this business, in my seat, you're always under the microscope," Chiarelli said of growing used to the attention.

Scott responded by commenting on the passion he has for his position.

"I've been in this business for a while now, and I feel like I've never worked a day in my life," he said.

UAlberta Law and the Sports and Entertainment Law Society would like to thank Mr. Chiarelli, Mr. Scott, and Mr. Hussainaly for generously donating their time for this event.