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Canucks sued over $1.1 million hiring and firing of Chelsea F.C. sports shrink


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#1 Samuel Påhlsson

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 11:46 PM

http://www.theprovin...1815/story.html


The Vancouver Canucks put up more than $1.1 million to lure a world renowned sports psychologist away from Chelsea FC after last season, but employed him for only six months during the NHL lockout, according to a newly filed lawsuit.
Bruno Demichelis is suing the Canucks and owner Francesco Aquilini for allegedly being negligent in making “representations and promises” that convinced him to take the job.
Chelsea FC, an English soccer club that is among the most powerful in the world, hired Demichelis in 2009 after he had been instrumental in building a groundbreaking sports science centre known as MilanLab while he was with the Italian soccer club, AC Milan.
According to the lawsuit, Aquilini visited Demichelis in Europe three times during 2010 and 2011 and tried to convince him to leave his $1.3-million-a-year position with Chelsea to join the Canucks.
The Canucks brought him to Vancouver in September 2011 for a meeting with club staff and general manager Mike Gillis.
“During the visit, Aquilini told the plaintiff that he was very concerned about the physical and psychological condition of the Canucks players, and the negative impact it had on their performance in the [2011] Stanley Cup final,” the B.C. Supreme Court lawsuit says.
The Canucks finally got their man last July. According to the lawsuit, the contract included a $700,000 salary, a $400,000 signing bonus, furnished living accommodations, a leased vehicle and other benefits. But Demichelis worked for the Canucks only until December — three months into the NHL lockout — when he received a termination letter, the lawsuit says.
Demichelis claims the Canucks facilitated the issuance of his work permit, and made several other promises, including:
— secure, long-term employment with the team
— to continue “reasonable” efforts to assist Demichelis in securing necessary authorizations to continue to work in Canada throughout the contract
— to form a business partnership with him in order to build a sports science lab in Vancouver
In the termination letter, the Canucks allegedly advised Demichelis that they were unable to apply on his behalf for an extension of the work permit because there were qualified Canadians available to do the work.
The club, relying on a memo and letter from the club’s law firm Clark Wilson LLP, alleged it had posted an ad for Demichelis’s position and that out of the 59 applicants, 29 Canadians met the requirements, says the suit.
The club concluded that there was no viable option to facilitate an extension of the work permit, it says.
But Demichelis says that the employment ad in no way reflected the skills and expertise he possessed and for which Aquilini and the team recruited him.
The club offered no compensation or severance payment after he was fired, he says.
After the termination, he discovered that his work permits were issued under a category known as “significant benefit” under which he was to perform work in Canada that was of significant benefit to the country.
“The plaintiff acted reasonably in relying upon the representations and promises to forego his other employment opportunities, move to Vancouver with his family, enter into the contract and provide technology to the club and the Canucks,” says the suit.


“Aquilini was negligent in making the representations and promises.”
Demichelis claims he’s suffered mental distress, loss and damage, including loss of salary and other perquisites. He is seeking unspecified general, aggravated, punitive and special damages.
Canucks Sports and Entertainment said in a statement they would “refrain from commenting on a matter involving a former employee and will respect the ongoing process.”
No response has yet been filed to the suit. A notice of civil claim contains allegations that have not been proven in court.
Named as defendants are Vancouver Canucks Limited Partnership and Aquilini, who could not be reached for comment.




Main reason I'm posting this article is the fact that Aquilini hired a sports psychologist. Just curious what everyone's thoughts on this are? I'm not sure what to think but I find it interesting that he thought the team needed a psychologist to work with them after the Stanley Cup final loss...

Edited by Samuel Pahlsson, 08 March 2013 - 11:47 PM.

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#2 Kevin Biestra

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 11:54 PM

Explains why Kesler is diving again this year.
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#3 Papayas

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 11:57 PM

Explains why Kesler is diving again this year.


Har har har
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#4 BobHo

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 11:58 PM

Interesting... And Chelsea from the English Premiership as well... Would you look at that.

1.1 mil for a psychologist is a hefty price, I do wonder what's going on in the locker after the loss

Or maybe Francesco just has cash to spare and wants to ensure that his team is alright and free of worries so they can take a run next year
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#5 GLASSJAW

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 11:58 PM

http://www.theprovin...1815/story.html

Main reason I'm posting this article is the fact that Aquilini hired a sports psychologist. Just curious what everyone's thoughts on this are? I'm not sure what to think but I find it interesting that he thought the team needed a psychologist to work with them after the Stanley Cup final loss...


I'm pretty sure every team with a decent amount of money floating around and a rabid fanbase has a sports pscyhologist

what do you mean you 'don't know what to think'

what's there to think?
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#6 Samuel Påhlsson

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 12:01 AM

I'm pretty sure every team with a decent amount of money floating around and a rabid fanbase has a sports pscyhologist

what do you mean you 'don't know what to think'

what's there to think?


I don't know what to think about a psychologist being used after a finals loss. Seems a bit excessive. I wasn't aware this is normal practice for sports franchises after loses... I just think it brings up a good discussion about how prepared this team is for another run.
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#7 shazzam

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 12:02 AM

sports pscyhologist is nothing new. how do you think Luongo spends his summers?
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#8 Christophe

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 12:07 AM

Not surprising. They literally haven't even been a shade of the team they were when they made it to the cup finals.

Same roster (most part), same mentality, same system. Worst results.
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#9 GLASSJAW

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 12:09 AM

sports pscyhologist is nothing new. how do you think Luongo spends his summers?


I thought those were the two months of the year Luongo actually gets to see his wife and family who would rather stay on the other side of the continent?
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#10 The Brahma Bull

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 12:10 AM

“During the visit, Aquilini told the plaintiff that he was very concerned about the physical and psychological condition of the Canucks players, and the negative impact it had on their performance in the [2011] Stanley Cup final,” the B.C. Supreme Court lawsuit says.


I won't lie. That part cracked me up. MG thinks this team is mentally fragile. Yay.
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#11 Gally

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 12:12 AM

My High School Varsity team has a sports psychologist it's not news.

Edited by Gally, 09 March 2013 - 12:29 AM.

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#12 Down by the River

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 12:17 AM

Almost all teams have sports psychologists. Some players talk openly about using them.

I like that Aquilini went after this guy on three separate occasions. Shows his interest and dedication to making this team a winner.

It does seem that the Aquilini group was negligent in not being aware of the immigration law requiring that he consider eligible Canadians for the job......I have a feeling someone may have been completely aware of the law, but kept it in their back pocket as an unofficial 'out clause' in the contract (hence the negligent part).
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#13 DeNiro

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 12:17 AM

Probably just wanted to steal his ideas and pay someone less to implement them. :lol:

I see this being settled out if court. It`s too bad we never got to see the affects of his work though. The way this team is playing right now, they could use some psychological help.
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#14 RunningWild

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 12:18 AM

I love that this organization is always looking outside the box. Love that they were/are willing to pay a massive amount of $$ in hopes of bettering their team.
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#15 The Brahma Bull

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 12:19 AM

My High School Varsity team has a sports physiologist, it's not news.


physiologist or psychologist?
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#16 Strombone1

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 12:26 AM

I won't lie. That part cracked me up. MG thinks this team is mentally fragile. Yay.


doesnt say that. the club owner was/is worried
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#17 Gally

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 12:28 AM

physiologist or psychologist?

Psychologist, autocorrect.
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#18 Moonshinefe

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 12:31 AM

Main reason I'm posting this article is the fact that Aquilini hired a sports psychologist. Just curious what everyone's thoughts on this are? I'm not sure what to think but I find it interesting that he thought the team needed a psychologist to work with them after the Stanley Cup final loss...


That was actually a cool post / news to me dude. I can't say I approve of him hiring a psychologist. It just makes the players sound fragile and it probably isn't good for their self-esteem, either. Our coach and our captains / assistant captains are supposed to motivate and keep the team's collective minds on the prize, not some doctor. I'd imagine a psychologist like that would be more a distraction if anything behind the scenes; surely the players know why he's there.

Edited by Moonshinefe, 09 March 2013 - 12:33 AM.

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#19 wallstreetamigo

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 01:55 AM

Hmmmm.........The Canucks emotional baggage started with their utter humiliation at the hands of the Hawks so Gillis hires a guy from CHELSEA to soothe their souls? Did they get him to carry a dagger to work too?

No wonder he only lasted a few months....bad memories man, bad memories......lol

Edited by wallstreetamigo, 09 March 2013 - 01:57 AM.

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#20 wallstreetamigo

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 02:01 AM

I like that Aquilini went after this guy on three separate occasions. Shows his interest and dedication to making this team a winner.


Or at least happy, well adjusted losers......;)
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#21 Barry_Wilkins

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 02:11 AM

Can't believe no one here has lambasted Aquilini yet. IF the allegations are true, it's just one more black mark on a shady owner (business outside the Canucks).
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#22 Mauii

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 02:12 AM

My High School Varsity team has a sports physiologist it's not news.

physiologist or psychologist?


It's like jazz and funk so junk...but I digress. Odd that the immigration matters would not have been sorted out properly or seriousely legally considered/reviewed prior to signing the contract unless there was a subject to clause which is a bona fide out clause. Although, I believe the skills this psychologist possess is beyond what local psychologists can offer with his specialized clinic, etc. But if Aquilini just decided against keeping him on board some kind of severence should have been provided. I wonder if Aquilini even sought legal advice before acquiring and terminating this psychologist? Do they have an in-house legal department, if they need someone..I'm available! I could have saved them $1.1M by looking into the matter further, inserting an out clause and reduce risks, if not prevent the costly litigation route for any conflicting matters by first seeking mediation then arbitration inserted in the agreement.

Edited by Mauii, 09 March 2013 - 09:05 PM.

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#23 DaMacNamedDre

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 02:19 AM

slum lord filth
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#24 TOMapleLaughs

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 02:23 AM

lol at the shrink suffering from mental distress. However, most shrinks i know are more flaky than your average person. Perhaps from listening to other people's crap for a living. The prescription is booze and drugs. I suppose $1.1mil will buy a lot of that.

Wondering if this person did anything at all.
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#25 TOMapleLaughs

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 02:24 AM

Hmmmm.........The Canucks emotional baggage started with their utter humiliation at the hands of the Hawks so Gillis hires a guy from CHELSEA to soothe their souls? Did they get him to carry a dagger to work too?

Boooooooo!
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#26 Alexander 7he Great

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 02:28 AM

What a joke...
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#27 wallstreetamigo

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 02:31 AM

Boooooooo!


I thought it was both witty and funny.....:)
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#28 terrible.dee

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 02:37 AM

The Canucks are full of sh!t,

I've lived in the USA for the last 10 years on work permits.

I have a decent track record in the music biz, but I'm no mega star.

If I can get work permits, this guy, with the Canucks backing him, it would be EASY,

They are just floating that excuse out there to get out of the deal.

Edited by terrible.dee, 09 March 2013 - 02:41 AM.

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#29 Common sense

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 02:40 AM

I'm fine with team ownership hiring a sports psychologist. They actually do some pretty good things to motivate lackluster players, or to restore self-confidence in players going through a slump.

I've had the pleasure of conducting research with some sports psychologists at UBC during my undergrad; they worked with a variety of players and teams (one of the was contracted to the Whitecaps, one to the Lions, and several for other U22 squads in various disciplines). It's pretty interesting to see the changes in player morale over a longer period of time, and to see the experimental-control groups' difference.
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#30 Mauii

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 02:56 AM

I'm fine with team ownership hiring a sports psychologist. They actually do some pretty good things to motivate lackluster players, or to restore self-confidence in players going through a slump.

I've had the pleasure of conducting research with some sports psychologists at UBC during my undergrad; they worked with a variety of players and teams (one of the was contracted to the Whitecaps, one to the Lions, and several for other U22 squads in various disciplines). It's pretty interesting to see the changes in player morale over a longer period of time, and to see the experimental-control groups' difference.


Ya, pro athletes are a different breed in their thought processes that's why they are at the level they are in in pro sports. Their competitiveness and drive are above and beyond most people. My sisters ex was a pro athlete and when his career ended it hit him pretty hard. All your life you prepare for that one thing and it doesn't materialize/gets taken away from you...your meaning/purpose is gone...you lose your identity. You'll need a professional to work through it and figure out a whole other life from what you trained yourself to be. I thought then that there should be specialized sports psychologists for athletes. Actually I think he just pursued the wrong sport. Apparently he was a better skater then the Courtnalls as per their coach, Courtnall's dad but instead he pursued a football career. He made it but for only one season with the Tiger Cats.

Edited by Mauii, 09 March 2013 - 10:56 PM.

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