Kukla's Korner Hockey
Undying support for Team Canada is common all across the country. Richards says that, in some ways, being a member the Canadian Olympic hockey team is like being a rock star. "There is such an aura around the team," Richards, one of the band's most crucial members, is saying after a recent Lightning game, while standing in a darkened arena corridor. "So many people want to be around it, want to take pictures, want to get autographs, and want us to do well."more
from the Star-Ledger,
State troopers traveled the country last weekend to speak with more than a dozen NHL players who allegedly placed bets, State Police Lt. Col. Frank Rodgers said. Among those implicated were Los Angeles Kings center Jeremy Roenick and Boston Bruins center Travis Green, according to the sources. There were no allegations the players bet on the NHL, instead gambling on football and basketball games, Fuentes said.update 11:49am & again at 3:18am Thursday, via the Daily Times, This stroyt fro the Daily Times has been edited which named two current Pittsburgh Penguin players- those names have been removed and therefore I will do the same. update 12:28pm, from ESPN,
Rick Tocchet and his co-defendants, New Jersey State Trooper James J. Harney and James A. Ulmer of Swedesboro, will be arraigned in state Superior Court in Burlington County, N.J. within the next 7-10 days, James Hagerty, the spokesman for the state Division of Criminal Justice told ESPN's Sal Paolantonio.
from the Toronto Sun,
The NHL gave its players a lot to chew on this season with a host of radical rule changes. League hockey operations vice-president Mike Murphy believes most have been well-digested, but acknowledges the players weren't going to like everything about the new NHL.continued
from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,
The morality of hockey players always seemed somehow to be at a higher level than what could be found in other sports. Hockey players were the guys who admitted their mistakes, who played on broken legs, who always signed the autographs. But now, if this investigation uncovers what those of us who love the game fear it will uncover, hockey will be lumped in with the rest of them. It probably shouldn't be. The vast majority of the people in it still qualify as being the friendliest, most honest, most accessible athletes in sport, but their reputation will have been tarnished by those who thought they could involve themselves in a continent-wide illegal gambling ring and no one would notice.read on
"Listen, first of all, my wife is my best friend," Gretzky said. "My love for her is deeper than anything. The reality is, I'm not involved, I wasn't involved and I'm not going to be involved. Am I concerned for both of them? Sure there's concern from me. I'm more worried about them than me. I'm like you guys, I'm trying to figure it all out." Except for trips to Las Vegas, Gretzky said, he's no gambler. "I'm standing here trying to answer questions and it's not even me this is about," Gretzky said. "It's the frustrating hard part for me, but I understand. I'm a big boy and you guys have a responsibility and a job to do and that's fine."update 10:30am, via the Arizona Republic,
When asked if his wife had placed bets for him, Gretzky was adamant in his denial. "Absolutely not. I never bet. Anytime there is a spouse involved, that's what people are going to think. She's her own person. "I think that had I been involved, I would have gotten a phone call. I'm pretty hard to hide."
from the Globe and Mail,
Colin Campbell heard from several general managers yesterday that they are unhappy with the number of penalties being called this National Hockey League season -- but the league is not going to back down on its new approach. "The pressure is there to make it go away now," Campbell said. "And we don't want it to go away. That's why we're hitting it head-on with the managers. If we don't stay the course, we're in trouble. We've made a commitment and we have to stay the course."more
from the Toronto Sun,
The initial charges against Rick Tocchet and others involved in an elaborate gambling ring suggest that hockey wasn't involved. But don't bet against it. According to one legal bookmaker in Las Vegas, that may be a naive assumption given the scope of the stunning investigation. "It doesn't matter what sport they are from, all these guys, whenever they get caught, all they say they did was bet on other sports," said Rich Dressler, the sports and race book manager at the Imperial Palace Casino on the Vegas strip. "What else are they going to do?read on
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Bettman must exercise every power he owns by virtue of his office and the league's by-laws to commission a thorough investigation of the facts. Tocchet must take a leave of absence through the completion of the judicial process and league review, and it he isn't intelligent to do so voluntarily, Bettman must order it. Then, if it becomes fact that players and team officials were indeed caught up in this, the commissioner must issue strict punishments, including suspensions, if not expulsion - to the full extent of the law. This isn't going to go away. Bettman must be out front on this. The viability of the league depends on it.more (reg. req.)
via TSN, Bob McKenzie, the Hockey Insider, expresses his views (will open wmp video) on the Tocchet situation. Plus, Gary Bettman responds (will open wmp video) to the charges. update 11:07pm, from TSN,
"We have evidence that leads us to believe that the traditional organized crime families that exist in the city of Philadelphia have exercised some degree of influence over this enterprise," Lt. Col. Frank Rodgers of the New Jersey State Police told TSN. "A relatively large number of players distributed pretty equally around the United States and that includes some of the management and coaches associated with the NHL as well." While the investigation may eventually lead to Canada, at this point, authorities are focusing their attention on five American cities, including Phoenix, Boston and St. Paul.update 11:15pm, from KYW-TV in Philadelphia,
Sources close to the investigation told CBS 3 two others questioned, but not charged, in connection with the gambling ring are the wife of hockey legend Wayne Gretzky, actress Janet Jones, and former Flyer Jeremy Roenick.
OLN has the Blackhawks/Yotes game tonight so you would think we would get some information about 'Operation Slapshot'. They start off with Phoenix captain Shane Doan who is asked, "You must be looking forward to get on the ice"question to get your mind back on the game.... Of course, Doan responds by saying something like, "That is what we do". Back to the studio with Clement, Jones, Eddie O and someone else. Ok, here we go.....to the highlights of games being played and then "we will be back after the 1st period". That's it, hockey fans are tuned in to get any additional information, but we get nothing at all!!! A perfect time to tell it like it is, but OLN followed the company line and that is disappointing. Any complaints, file them with the Acid Queen (rated R for language). update 9:43pm, Bill Clement read a story about the gambling charges during the 1st period intermission and showed clips of Gretzky and Tocchet that we have seen or heard. Went to Neil Smith in Phoenix and no new news from there. Maybe Scott Burnside of ESPN reflects on the thoughts of many of the fans,
Record attendance. A brand new, exciting product on the ice. Unprecedented buzz in NHL cities where the playoff races promise to come down to the final moment of the final weekend. Now we have Mr. Action, Rick Tocchet, and his alleged merry band of bettors. Where the path takes both he and the game is anyone's guess. But chances are it's a path that's going to get a lot darker than Tuesday's "what, me worry?" reaction from the league would suggest.more
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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