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European sports psychologist takes Canucks to court

The Canadian Press

3/9/2013 10:22:37 AM

VANCOUVER -- A world-renowned sports psychologist is taking the Vancouver Canucks and one of its owners to court over allegations of wrongful dismissal and breach of contract.

The court document says Bruno Demichelis developed a sports-science centre credited with reducing player injuries while working for the Italian soccer club, AC Milan.

But in July 2012 after a recruitment drive by Francesco Aquilini and the Canucks, he entered an oral-and-written contact with the club, turning down a higher paying job in Europe.

Under the contract with the Canucks, Demichelis claims he was to have been paid a $400,000 signing bonus and a $700,000 salary between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2014.

But the court document says the Canucks informed Demichelis during the NHL lockout that it was terminating his contract Jan. 31, 2013.

The suit filed by Demichelis claims "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 the technology to the club and the Canucks.

"Upon termination, the plaintiff suffered mental distress."

The allegations have yet to be proven in court and the Canucks have not filed a statement of defence.