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Ex-Sharks winger wins millions in lawsuit against former agent

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Dany Heatley first sued his ex-agent in 2012.

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San Jose Sharks v Los Angeles Kings - Game Six Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Ex-San Jose Sharks winger Dany Heatley was awarded over $6,500,000 (CDN) by a Calgary judge today in a lawsuit against his former agent, who Heatley claimed promised him millions in real estate investments that never materialized.

Heatley, who played for the Sharks from 2009-2011 and has not played professional hockey since 2016, first sued ex-agent Stacey McAlpine and his parents in 2012. In total, Heatley sued the McAlpine family for losses of nearly $10,000,000, and sought another $1,200,000 in damages for their “high-handed, egregious, and reprehensible” conduct, according to the lawsuit.

The suit named Presidential Suites Inc., Waterfront Development Inc., McAlpine Sports Management Inc. and NSEM Management Inc as defendants, according to The Globe and Mail. The Calgary court awarded Heatley $4,167,839.13 from Presidential Suites and $2,348,875.53 from Waterfront Development, according to CTV.

The 13-year NHL veteran first became close with McAlpine, then his business adviser, in the wake of an Atlanta car accident in 2003 that killed then-Thrashers teammate Dan Snyder. Heatley was sentenced to three years’ probation and ordered to pay $3,000 after pleading down to four misdemeanor charges from first degree vehicular manslaughter, according to The New York Times.

In the wake of the accident, “[Heatley and McAlpine’s] friendship flourished, particularly [Heatley’s] reliance and trust in Stacey,” according to the lawsuit. McAlpine eventually introduced his father, a real estate developer, to Heatley, and Heatley subsequently invested millions.

He was promised 100% return in five years on a $1,000,000 investment in Canadian condominium units in 2008, the same return on the same investment in some American condos that same year, and 6% return in a year on $1,300,000 term deposit in 2009, the lawsuit said. Heatley lost over $4,000,000 in four seperate transactions in 2008 and 2009, according to the lawsuit.

This is not the first time Heatley’s been awarded money in a lawsuit against his former agent, nor is it the first time an ex-client has sued in McAlpine. In 2011, an Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench judge awarded Heatley over $1,300,000 (U.S.) against NESM Management, according to The Globe and Mail. Heatley never received that money, CTV reported. His former Ottawa Senators teammate Chris Phillips sued McAlpine, who was also the best man at Phillips’ wedding, for $7,500,000 (CDN) in an Ottawa court in 2012, according to CTV. Phillips won the case last year, but did not receive the full amount he sued for, CTV Calgary’s Chris Epp reported.

In 162 regular season games over two seasons with the Sharks, Heatley scored 146 points, and another 22 in 32 postseason games. In his first season in San Jose, the German-born Canadian forward played on a line with Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, and that trio was one of Canada’s best lines on their Gold Medal-winning squad at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Heatley was traded to the Minnesota Wild for Martin Havlat on July 3, 2011, and played four more seasons in North America before last playing for the Tomas Sabo Ice Tigers in Nurembeg, Germany in the DEL in 2015-16.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated Heatley was traded to Minnesota on July 4, 2011. He was traded on July 3 of that year. We regret this error.