West Kelowna Warrior hockey drama hits the courts - InfoNews

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West Kelowna Warrior hockey drama hits the courts

West Kelowna Warriors are the focus of a new civil suit.
Image Credit: westkelownawarriors.ca
June 28, 2019 - 11:12 AM

WEST KELOWNA - Insight into last year’s sudden firing of West Kelowna Warriors coach Geoff Grimwood has been made available through a civil suit he filed earlier this week.

In the suit where he seeks damages of $30,021.98, Grimwood sues the Warriors for breach of contract.

The suit indicates that he was fired for misconduct, which is not detailed, but claims much more was at play. The hockey club not only failed to investigate allegations against him but also didn’t act in the candid, reasonable, honest and forthright manner that was a common expectation of the parties at the outset of the relationship.

“The defendant explicitly impugned the claimant's honesty, ability and trustworthiness at the time of termination without any or adequate justification for doing so and with wanton reckless disregard for the claimant’s professional reputation,” reads the document.

“The defendant’s true reasons for terminating the claimant was, among other things, to allow (Kim) Dobranski control over hockey operations and other duties that were under the purview of the claimant and for which responsibilities Mr. Dobranski repeatedly intermeddlement throughout the claimant’s employment.”

It also says that he was fired to avoid increasing his compensation under the terms of the contract.

Grimwood said he signed a contract in September that provided for an immediate lump sum payment of an amount necessary to ensure his salary met the BCHL's minimum standard of $50,000 if he were terminated.

The team failed to or refused to make the payment and the contract was further breached because the club did not obtain approval from the league as per the agreement.

Grimwood, named interim head coach Aug. 18, just weeks after longtime coach Rylan Ferster quit.

He was let go shortly thereafter, which prompted a response from players who skipped practice and took part in a Twitter protest with the hashtag #grimmergate.

At the time, a 20-year-old forward and alternate captain Cavin Tilsley tweeted “We want our coach back" and posted a photo of the players on a hike with the tweet “Together we stand.”

The rehiring was in September, with league intervention.

Dobranski bought the team from long-time owner Mark Cheyne earlier that year.

A counterclaim has not been filed and none of the allegations have been proven.

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