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Wake With Elias: Shocking allegations about Francesco Aquilini abusing his children become public

The Aquilini family has owned the Canucks since 2006.

Los Angeles Kings v Vancouver Canucks
Vancouver Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini talks to the media before their NHL game against the the Los Angeles Kings at Rogers Arena December 6, 2021 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

Yesterday, a BC Supreme Court heard about disturbing allegations about Francesco Aquilini “physically and psychologically” abusing his children.

In a story first reported by the Vancouver Sun, a dispute in family court over child support payments took a dark turn when Aquilini’s children, now adults, released affidavits detailing some of the abuse they endured when they were younger.

Aquilini’s children are estranged from him and wish to have no contact with him, the court heard.

While most of the affidavits remain private and are not for public record, these excerpts were reported in the Vancouver Sun’s article:

“In one incident, Aquilini allegedly beat one of his sleeping children and continued the beating after the child woke up.”

“One of his kids claimed to have seen him throw a five-year-old child across a room. A third allegation had him punching a child in the stomach, causing the child to cry.”

These allegations came to light while Aquilini’s lawyer was at trial over child support payments. Aquilini’s ex-wife, Tali’ah, claimed that Francesco hasn’t made child support payments since September 2021. The three youngest children in question, aged 20, 22, 24 are looking for support as they attend post-secondary school.

Francesco and Tali’ah divorced in 2013.

The Aquilinis’ have a few public black stains on their records, some of which include tax evasion they partook in during the year they bought the Canucks and major mistreatment of workers at their blueberry farms. However, these child abuse allegations are another level of darkness.

Aquilini’s lawyer has denied the recent allegations.

In Other News...

I encourage you to check out the full Aquilini story in the Vancouver Sun.

Now, let’s get to the ice.

  • Ilya Mikheyev is out week-to-week, according to Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau.

Not exactly what we wanted to hear...but going back to what we wrote about yesterday, this only means Nils Hoglander is going to get a bigger opportunity.

He was in Brock Boeser’s bumper spot on the power play at practice on Tuesday. He also skated on a line with Elias Pettersson and Andrei Kuzmenko.

  • Finally, The Athletic had Vancouver ranked 18th overall in their season preview, slightly behind a couple of other intriguing teams in the West (St. Louis was 17th, LA was 16th, Vegas was 15th)

Say what you will about the model, but 50% playoff odds seem about right for this squad.

Look, their forward group and goaltending coupled with a full year of Bruce Boudreau should be just enough to help this team squeak into the playoffs...but it’s certainly no guarantee.