By Mike Max

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The NHL season is of course up in the air, which means different things to different people. Ben Hankinson is an agent that represents players in all stages of their careers.

Hankinson’s office is quiet these days, but Hankinson has become a counselor and a confidant.

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“These guys need to be ready to play if they do get the chance to play again. At the same time, I tell them … they’re going to have a little bit of a runway to get back into shape if they do come back and play, but take care of their families first,” he said.

Unlike most sports, these ice hockey players can not simulate much, because there is no ice time available, and that means no time to skate.

“For these guys, not skating for this long, this hasn’t happened, since they were probably 4 years old, to be honest. It’s crazy, you know how much these guys train,” he said.

For Hankinson, there is another league in jeopardy. He started the popular Da Beauty League as a summer tuneup at Braemar Ice Arena. Depending on the NHL’s status, this could be
a gift.

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“If everyone gets healthy and there is no NHL season, then Da Beauty League runs, and it’s a perfect time for everybody to get back skating and the guys are dying to get back on the ice. So it could be the Stanley Cup of the Beauty League,” he said.

There has also been talk of a season that resumes this summer, takes a brief break, then starts the following season in the fall.

“That’s when the NHL could start up again, if everything keeps slowing down and getting better and fans want to come back, it would be in probably July-August,” he said.

For now, he stays in touch with his players, the uncertainty really not unlike what many experience for the much of their careers.

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“There is a lot of questions, and these guys are used to it,” he said.

Mike Max