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Samuel Påhlsson

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

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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.

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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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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...

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

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

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

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

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

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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...

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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

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

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