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View Full Version : Detroit Free Press: Coach Igor Shpilband fired from position at Canton's Arctic FSC



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Vagabond
06-07-2012, 05:31 PM
"Their coaching partnership provided an enjoyable and productive training environment and together we experienced great success on the ice," Moir said in a release. "We were obviously disappointed to receive the news that our coaching team of Marina and Igor will no longer be working together."

This is inconsistent with the rink owner's claim that Virtue & Moir demanded that Shpilband be dismissed. I thought so.

By the way, I'm not sure what the law is in Michigan, but in at least some states, making false but not defamatory public statements about someone else that put him in a "false light" is a tort. I wouldn't expect the skaters to sue, but they might ask for a public retraction (and perhaps change rink!).

Debbie S
06-07-2012, 05:39 PM
Something ugly could have been a knock down screaming match between he and Marina, at the rink. A scene like that could be reason to tell him to leave. That could violate rink policy. Based on what has been made public, it does seem that this could have been a possibility. If coaches are feuding to the point of being disruptive to the skaters, then the rink needs to step in. In my area, coaches have been kicked out of rinks (i.e. lost their teaching privileges) for disruptive behavior (in addition to other ethical lapses).

In most rinks with an 'open' pro policy, the amount of group lessons or private lesson referrals doesn't matter - a coach can work there as long as they show proof of insurance and coaching credentials (which in most places in the U.S. means the registration and background check done annually by USFS and continuing ed credits each year) AND follow the rules of the rink. I'm sure most, if not all, rinks have some sort of contract that coaches must sign to indicate their understanding of what's expected, and if a coach is determined to be violating those rules, the rink can revoke their teaching privileges,


Technically, Igor was not fired because he was not an employee. Technically, he was. He was "Ice Dance Director." Theoretically, I suupose he could have been fired from that position and still retained his teaching privileges, but I suspect the rink just wanted a clean break, especially if the situation between him and Marina was disruptive to the skaters.

I have seen situations, though, where a coach was fired (or suspended) from teaching group lessons or doing choreo for rink shows and was still allowed to coach on the rink's ice.

nylynnr
06-07-2012, 05:43 PM
Technically, he was. He was "Ice Dance Director."

Nope, he was not an employee of the Arctic Edge.

frisette70
06-07-2012, 06:03 PM
This is inconsistent with the rink owner's claim that Virtue & Moir demanded that Shpilband be dismissed. I thought so.



Did i miss something... He never said that...:confused:

Zemgirl
06-07-2012, 06:06 PM
That was not an official story and it did not come from a skater. It was a remark made by the rink manager to J. Barnas of Detroit Free Press.
Making it the official story given by the people who fired Shpilband, or told him to go elsewhere, it whatever one wants to call it. Jacqui White said otherwise, and now we have a skater saying otherwise.

AYS
06-07-2012, 07:04 PM
Did i miss something... He never said that...:confused:
You must have missed something, because that is what he said.


According to Craig O'Neill, longtime general manager of the Arctic Edge, the move was made in part because its top three teams -- including 2010 Olympic gold and silver medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada, and Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White -- felt as if "Igor wasn't there anymore for them."


“We told him that the kids weren't going to come back to the rink until we had this meeting with you."


What it came down to was the kids didn't want to skate there (in Canton) anymore with Igor. Either they were leaving or Igor was leaving.

frisette70
06-07-2012, 07:15 PM
You must have missed something, because that is what he said.

I think saying that Virtue and Moir demanded that Shpilband be dismissed is a lot different than Davis and White and Virtue and Scott saying they felt as if "Igor wasn't there anymore for them."


What it came down to was the kids didn't want to skate there (in Canton) anymore with Igor. Either they were leaving or Igor was leaving.

This last quote sound like %$/&....

AYS
06-07-2012, 07:19 PM
I think saying that Virtue and Moir demanded that Shpilband be dismissed is a lot different than Davis and White and Virtue and Scott saying they felt as if "Igor wasn't there anymore for them."

This last quote sound like %$/&....
Yes, but it's the last quote that at least strongly implies a demand of some sort. I frankly don't believe any of the skaters made such a demand, so I can entirely believe they're shocked right now at how the situation was handled (and conveyed in the initial article).

Golightly
06-07-2012, 08:00 PM
I agree. At least that's what I gather from reading Virtue and Moir's statement. They're distancing themselves from what O'Neill said.

Vash01
06-07-2012, 08:25 PM
I don't trust O'neill. He may be saying that the skaters demanded Igor's dismissal because it may be the only thing the fans would accept (that the skaters wanted it that way). He is protecting himself, and probably not telling the truth.

Iceman
06-07-2012, 09:11 PM
OT Someone mentioned that Tanith is rarely there, so are she and charlie still together?

skatingfan26
06-07-2012, 09:12 PM
Also, the skaters could easily be shocked or surprised by Igorn's firing even if they did approach rink management saying they had some problems. If the story is true, then it is possible that the skaters didn't expect more than management talking to Igor about it -- not firing him.

That's the most plausible explanation given the quotes of White's mother and Scott Moir. The rink manager blew it out of proportion when he stated that the skaters wanted Igor to go.

I actally think the coaches and the management were probably exaggerating in their quotes in the Free Press article: I think Igor and Marina fought with each other (their "egos clashed"), because Igor wanted to teach teams independent of Marina. Marina was angry about it. They had a fight. Perhaps there was already a tension between them for a longer time. They skaters felt awkward in this situation and probably thought that Igor was the catalyst of the fight (because he was the one who wanted to train these 2 teams independently) and so they approached the management to talk to Igor (because they weren't able to talk sense into him or because they felt somehow unable to talk to him in person) and the management was unable or unwilling to solve the disagreements and fired him claiming it was the skaters' wish to free themselves from the blame. And because of their disappointment with Igor they decided to stay with Marina, because she seemed to be the one who's "there for them".

Ziggy
06-07-2012, 09:42 PM
OMG that is one of the most WTF selections of music I think I have ever seen, purely for the fact that how can you pick 5-6 pieces of music that are so totally unrelated to each other and put them into a program. One of those programs that you would want to give a music deduction on, just for the simple fact that the selection made absolutely no sense and would piss me off. But that is not in the rules.

You say it like it's a bad thing. :P


Povilas Vanagas comments:

http://www.rsport.ru/figure_skating/20120607/599925302.html

"Zoueva didn't approach us directly, she asked Lithuanian judge if we would like to join the team, so to speak. At the moment we don't think about coaching career at all, we continue skating. So we said right away, thank you, but no."

Ah so they still continue to primarily earn their living from doing shows for now.

Not sure that is such a wise decision though. An opportunity like this is not likely to ever come up again.


I don't think anything drastic happened. I think it is just as Jacqui White said. Conflict between the coaches, skaters caught in the middle being forced to make a choice.

It sounds like Marina didn't like the idea of Igor taking on new teams. Perhaps she threatened to take the Olympic teams and leave if the rink didn't get rid of Igor. Maybe she didn't feel they could both work at the same rink with different teams. Maybe she thought there would be too many teams and the ice would be too crowded. And who gets how much ice, and when?

It bothers me that people jump to the conclusion that he did something unethical. There has been nothing to suggest that is the case. Coach/rink drama exists at every skating level. It just usually doesn't get played out in public.

Yep, this is the most likely explanation.


Does anyone else have a sense of deja vu here? B/A get a silver Olympic medal and a year or two before the next Olympics, they leave Igor. Though they also left Marina. Very similar comments from the skaters, too. We owe everything to Igor and are sad to sever our relationship with him. Then why do it?

Because Canton was extremely crowded at that time, V/M and D/W were slowly taking over the world and B/A wanted a coach who would focus on them.


Stick around any skating club long enough and you will see plenty of instances when egos and politics force a coach out of a rink. Like I said, it happens at every level.

It happens everywhere in any kind of job, group, organisation, etc.

But a dark and mysterious KONSPIRACY is much more enticing isn't it? :P

Twizzler
06-07-2012, 09:47 PM
I can't believe that everyone is taking all of these quotes coming out as absolute truth. Do you honestly think that the "kids" involved would admit in a statement that they demanded Igor leave the rink?? Never.

As far as Jacqui White's comments, it's possible (and highly probable) that she just wants the "heat" off of her son.

Just because it's in quotes and someone said it, doesn't necessarily mean the words are the true feelings of the person being quoted. Canton teams, with the exception of Scott Moir on occasion, are notoriously PC when it comes to public statements they make. I don't expect this situation to be any different.

FWIW, Igor's teaching privileges were revoked in Canton. I have heard he is in Ann Arbour TEMPORARILY until he can find a permanent home.

Vagabond
06-07-2012, 10:24 PM
http://www.freep.com/article/20120603/SPORTS18/120603037/Coach-Igor-Shpilband-Canton-Figure-Skating-Club?odyssey=tab


According to Craig O'Neill, longtime general manager of the Arctic Edge, the move was made in part because its top three teams -- including 2010 Olympic gold and silver medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada, and Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White -- felt as if "Igor wasn't there anymore for them."


OT Someone mentioned that Tanith is rarely there, so are she and charlie still together?

Coincidence?

:watch: