Former general manager Soetaert sues Silvertips

EVERETT — Former Everett Silvertips general manager Doug Soetaert is taking his former employer to court.

Soetaert, who was fired by the Silvertips in February, has filed a lawsuit against the team seeking unpaid wages.

In a document filed with Snohomish County Superior Court dated March 14, Soetaert claims breach of contract by the Silvertips, saying he did not receive full compensation from the team as agreed upon at the time he was rehired in 2006. He is seeking those payments, an accounting of the Silvertips’ income to determine proper payment, damages and attorney’s fees.

Soetaert on Wednesday directed inquiries to his lawyer, Mitchell Cogdill. Cogdill was unavailable for comment.

A message left for Silvertips president Gary Gelinas was not immediately returned.

The court document details two ways in which Soetaert claims the Silvertips did not honor his contract.

The first involves bonus money based on Soetaert’s tenure. The suit claims the Silvertips agreed to pay Soetaert the value of half a share of common stock in the Everett Hockey Club for each year of employment. Soetaert served six years with the team after being rehired in 2006, and claims the team owes him the value of three shares. The suit claims the team refused payment.

The second involves performance bonuses. The suit claims Soetaert was due sums based on the team’s pre-tax operating income, but that Soetaert was paid sums based on the team’s pre-tax operating profit. The suit says Soetaert sought an accounting to determine the difference, but his request was rejected by the team.

The lawsuit seeks double the wages allegedly withheld, interest and attorney’s fees. No dollar figures were included in the document.

Soetaert was responsible for building the Silvertips from the ground up. He was Everett’s first general manager, being hired in 2002, a full year before the team began play. He stayed in that position until 2005, when he was hired by the NHL’s Calgary Flames to be the general manager of the team’s American Hockey League affiliate in Omaha, Neb. Soetaert spent a year in Omaha before returning to Everett to resume his position as general manager of the Silvertips. Soetaert was fired on Feb. 2. The team hired Garry Davidson as his replacement two weeks later.

Check out Nick Patterson’s Silvertips blog at http://www.heraldnet.com/silvertipsblog, and follow him on Twitter at NickHPatterson.

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