Skip to content

Canucks are being sued by an Italian soccer sports psychologist

Mar 9, 2013, 5:06 PM EDT

Jason Garrison, Jannik Hansen, Chris Higgins AP

The Vancouver Canucks have been known to do different things with their off-ice training. They’ve hired a sleep doctor and even built a “mind room” for the players. One of those different techniques was hiring a sports psychologist so it figures that that’s found a way to backfire on them.

As The Canadian Press reports, former AC Milan sports psychologist Bruno Demichelis is suing Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini for wrongful dismissal and breach of contract.

Demichelis says the contract the two sides agreed on paid him a $400,000 signing bonus with $700,000 in salary for a time between July 2012 and June 2014. The Canucks claimed they informed him during the lockout that they were letting him go on January 31, 2013. Hey, times were tough and you have to cut costs somewhere, right?

This story isn’t without its funny coincidence though. Demichelis says in his suit against the team that his firing caused him mental distress. A sports psychologist being harmed mentally by a team has a total “meta” feel about it.

If this does go all the way to court I wonder if Keith Ballard winds up being a key witness thanks to how mentally tough he’s been in handling his trips in and out of coach Alain Vigneault’s doghouse.


  1. r8rbhawk - Mar 9, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    Blackhawks fans are loving this story.

    • ballistictrajectory - Mar 9, 2013 at 5:33 PM

      Probably all fans besides Vancouver fans are loving this story.

      • loinstache - Mar 9, 2013 at 6:08 PM

        I’m a canuck fan and I think it’s hilarious

  2. valoisvipers - Mar 9, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    Poor guy must have been really overworked dealing with a basket case team like the Canucks.

  3. steelers88 - Mar 9, 2013 at 6:16 PM


  4. 19to77 - Mar 9, 2013 at 6:18 PM

    Haha, love it. “They told me I was fired and it made me sad! Pay me!”

    So, are we assuming it was for that headcase Luongo?

  5. jpelle82 - Mar 9, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    are the canucks really so delicate that they need to spend over a million dollars on a psychologist? a soccer psychologist at that…i can only imagine what kind of psychology he could share with players considering the similarities between the canucks’ theatrics and those of soccer players.

  6. jimw81 - Mar 9, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    explains why Lunango is having a pretty good season.

  7. thehighcountrybear - Mar 9, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    The mind room was a bust…the echoing off the empty chamber walls was completely unnerving; the room was converted to house Canucks trophy cupboard [ still empty, still unnerving ]?

    The nineteenth son of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was then brought in to help Canucks transcend the 2011 debacle…he too found the task daunting, and was last seen grazing in the grass on Vancouver Island [ ush kush on the bush ]?

    Now, Canucks ownership have brought in an Italian sports psychologist…a natural fit given Italy’s long and storied history in the game of hockey?

    Now, Aquilini wants to stiff the guy, not because of the lockout but because Demichelis found the root cause of Canucks’ elemental schizoid nature in less then four minutes [ the closet full of tutus was the giveaway ].

    Simply put, key figures in Canucks post 2011 adjustment still can’t decide if they want to dance, or play hockey, play the point or demi-pointe? Demichelis told Aquilinis to cut the Bolshoi, bring the tutus and the Canucks out the closet, or he too would take a ferry to the Island…

    Aquilinis, in the middle of having his own closet emptied in a messy divorce battle said bah-fungoo, and told Demichelis he was no balletomane and was no longer needed in art loving Vancouver…

  8. odak51 - Mar 9, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    Did he teach them how to dive?

  9. blomfeld - Mar 10, 2013 at 12:17 AM


    Despite being born in Montreal and having lived for a number of years in both Sweden and the US, I’ve nonetheless lived most of my 53 years here in Vancouver BC. And I can tell you friends that Vancouver is positively and without a doubt the most “whacked out” city in all of Canada .. perhaps even North America ? I don’t say that so much as an insult, as I do a statement of “having lived here” fact. The bottom line as I see it, is that this “weirdo” Canuck’s stuff with the Italian quack, is completely consistent with the “weirdo-ism” of this city at large.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kessel (1602)
  2. P. Kane (1556)
  3. M. Richards (1342)
  4. P. Datsyuk (1191)
  5. N. Backstrom (1078)