Canucks chairman Francesco Aquilini confirmed The Buffalo News story Friday that he had interest in purchasing the Buffalo Bills.
However, Aqulini told the paper through a statement that he wouldn’t be pursing the NFL club further.
“I’m always exploring potential business opportunities, and I’m passionate about sports. So this is something that interested me. However, we are not planning to pursue the opportunity further.”
According to the report, Aquilini had signed a nondisclosure agreement for access to the Bills’ financial data.
Aquilini, 53, has been the majority owner of the Canucks since November 2006.
The Buffalo News story also reported that John Bitove, the man responsible for landing the Raptors in Toronto, is among those who signed a nondisclosure agreement.
The paper’s sources say as many as 60 nondisclosure agreements were distributed, but just 16 to 20 were signed and returned.
The NFL club is for sale after its founder and owner, Ralph Wilson, died in March.
Related: Report: Sabres’ owner Pegula makes bid for NFL’s Bills
With GM Jim Benning and President of Hockey Operations Trevor Linden running things in Vancouver, Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini has to like where things are headed.
Fans in Vancouver will be happy to know the owner is truly all about winning the Stanley Cup as Greg Douglas at the Vancouver Sun shared.
“Winning a Stanley Cup is everything,” Aquilini told attendees at a BC Business Top 100 gathering on Thursday. “If you don’t want to win the Stanley Cup, you shouldn’t own a team. I’m learning about the ups and downs of the business and realize the success of the hockey team is not in my control.”
Good thing he’s hired people like Linden and Benning then to be in control of the hockey decisions. It’s also a curious thing given the mess the team got into last summer when they hired John Tortorella to coach the team. That was a move then GM Mike Gillis wasn’t eager to make, but Aquilini reportedly wanted to happen very badly after firing Alain Vigneault.
Now the Canucks have a former team legend in charge, a smart hockey man as GM, and a new coach in Willie Desjardins who has had success in the AHL. See Vancouver? Things are looking up.
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.