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B.C. Court of Appeal reaffirms ownership rights of Vancouver Canucks @NHLdotcom

VANCOUVER, B.C. - The owner of the Vancouver Canucks has won a judicial shutout in his bid to retain ownership of the hockey team.

The B.C. Court of Appeal has upheld a lower court ruling, rejecting a claim by two Vancouver businessmen that they were Francesco Aquilini's partners and should have been included in his purchase of the team.

A lower court ruled earlier that Tom Gaglardi and Ryan Beedie were no longer Aquilini's partners when he made a successful bid to buy half of the hockey franchise.

In a unanimous decision from the B.C. Appeal Court, three judges ruled there was no evidence that each of the men were bound to act in the others best interests.

Aquilini bought half the team from John McCaw in November 2004, just days after negotiations for the team fell through with Gaglardi and Beedie.

Aquilini issued a statement after today's ruling saying he's relieved and hopes that the decision means he and his family can put the issue behind them and get back to work.

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