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Tocchet Tied To Gambling Ring

from the AP via WCBSTV,

New Jersey authorities said Tuesday they had busted a nationwide sports gambling ring financed by an NHL coach and run in part by a state police trooper. Phoenix Coyotes associate coach Rick Tocchet was served with a criminal complaint Monday evening and was expected to travel from his Arizona home to answer charges of promoting gambling, money laundering and conspiracy, said state police Col. Rick Fuentes.
more update 2:02pm, from the AP via TSN,
Phoenix Coyotes assistant coach Rick Tocchet is accused of financing a nationwide sports gambling ring in which about a dozen current NHL players placed bets, authorities said Tuesday.
more update 2:12pm, via 6ABC,
Action News has learned that the ring could also be linked to Janet Jones - who is the wife of hockey legend Wayne Gretzky, and the ring could be tied to the crime family of Bruno Scarfo.
update 2:24pm, fyi, from the old CBA, 'Gambling on any National Hockey League game is prohibited'. No mention of any other sports. update 2:36pm, ESPN News reporting 6 current NHL players involved. update 2:52pm, from the AP via the Philadelphia Inquirer, Over the course of the investigation, state police found wagers placed by about half a dozen current NHL players and from someone Fuentes described as a "movie celebrity," all of whom have been interviewed as part of the investigation. Fuentes did not disclose their names, saying the investigation was ongoing. update 3:10pm, from the AP via the Arizona Republic, Tocchet held a brief news conference Tuesday at Glendale Arena to address the situation. “I got a summons the other day about (it),” he said. “It’s not a hockey-related issue, it’s a football thing. And at this time I can’t comment any further.” Tocchet said he would cooperate with the investigation and had no comment when asked whether he’d turn himself in to authorities. “I feel bad for the Coyotes and stuff like that, but like I said it’s a non-hockey-related issue. And that’s all I can comment.” Tocchet does have a lawyer. Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky said Tocchet would be on the bench tonight and that it would be “business as usual.” “Everyone in the world is innocent until proven guilty,” Gretzky said. “He’s a great guy and a good friend. He’s just going through a tough time right now, obviously, and we’ve got to let it run its course. “It’s a situation that’s obviously a concern for the organization at this point.” update 3:33pm note: A new posting thread has been created if you wish to follow along.

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Can Team USA Challenge For The Gold

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

"If you have your choice, you always want to go in as an underdog," U.S. general manager Don Waddell said. "Guys will rally to that. There's a lot of rallying points." Many of the players on this U.S. team will be unknown to the casual American fan. But it is this group -- with players like Mike Knuble, Erik Cole, Brian Gionta, Jordan Leopold and John-Michael Liles -- on whom success or failure will depend. If these players can accept that challenge, then the torch will truly be passed for American hockey.
read on

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Kovalev Talks

from the IIHF,

Alexei Kovalev earned his pilot's licence in 1998, but the Togliatti native has also experienced the pain of having his Olympic gold medal hopes shot down twice since that year. Lucas Aykroyd caught up with Kovalev recently to discuss the 32-year-old Montreal Canadien's high-flying ways. IIHF.com: You surprised some people by deciding to sign a long-term deal with Montreal. Why did you make that decision? Alexei Kovalev: It was simple. They were the only team that was interested, and that's why I signed. I can't really shop around if nobody's giving me anything. It's not my decision.
read on...discusses Russia's chances in the Olympics... update 12:12pm, Another Q & A from the IIHF, this time Andrew Podnieks, IIHF.com Olympic writer answers them-
How will USA coach Peter Laviolette take a series of negatives and turn them into positives? Coach Peter Laviolette has taken his Carolina Hurricanes to first place in the NHL, thanks in large part to his star players playing like star players but thanks also to his own successful methods. He’ll need all his powers in Torino. The USA will be captained by a 44-year-old defenceman (Chris Chelios). The team lacks experience in goal and has too many young players to be a serious contender, but just maybe Laviolette will find a way to turn these negatives into positives and surprise the many critics who see his team not going very far in the tournament.

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A Finn View

In an article about the Super Bowl from the Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat,

The NFL season is short, but all the more popular. For example, the New York Times usually has several pages devoted exclusively to football, but only one article about ice hockey, often only the results of games. The final game, the Super Bowl, brings the entire country to a halt. In the States, NHL games are shown on channels specialised in fishing and rodeo.
read on for more about the NFL and a few Finns playing football...

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The Maven Report

from Stan Fischler of MSG Network,

-How Do You Figure This Dep’t.: By any goaltending standard, José Théodore should be cruising along in his prime. Instead, he’s trade bait. Wha’ happen, baby? One theory is that he’s lacked proper guidance. -Good Story Dep’t.: Rick Nash has come up with his own version of Lance Armstrong’s Live Strong bracelets: Rick Bands. The bracelets’ proceeds – which come in red (dedication), blue (believe) and silver (character) – go towards fighting pediatric cancer. -Quote Of The Week: From Brian Burke at Anaheim’s “state of the franchise” confab: “When you take over a team that’s had largely a losing tradition, you have to shovel out the stable before you start showing the horses!”

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Key Vote Coming Up

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

A vote by National Hockey League players on the form of next season's salary cap will be the subject of much discussion at the annual general managers meetings this week. While the GMs can do nothing to influence the vote, the executives from the league's wealthiest clubs will be pulling hard for a no vote, while those from the less prosperous clubs will be cheering the other way.
read on

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Modano Feeling Stronger

from the NY Times,

Two years ago, Mike Modano, a center for the National Hockey League's Dallas Stars, knew that something had to change, or his career would be over. "Physically, I wasn't feeling the way I did when I was younger," says Modano, who is 35. So the six-time all-star called on Paul Chek, a nutrition and exercise specialist who has worked with elite athletes like the big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton and the snowboarder Shaun White.

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Wild ‘D’ May Be Available

from the Pioneer Press via the Duluth News Tribune,

With the NHL trade deadline about a month away, most of the talk surrounding the Wild has focused on goaltenders Manny Fernandez and Dwayne Roloson. The reality is that teams might be more interested in trading for Minnesota's pending free-agent defensemen. Willie Mitchell and Filip Kuba are the top candidates, along with Andrei Zyuzin and Daniel Tjarnqvist.

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GM For A Day

Time for the reader's of KK to answer a question- If your team could make one move right now, what would it be? Basically, you are GM for the day so let me know what you would do. You could make a trade, make sure it fits the cap, put someone on waivers, ask (force) a player to retire, change the National Anthem singer, paint the visitors locker room pink, etc. Make sure your move is logical, or you may feel the wrath of other readers. I know many of you like to visit KK on a daily basis, and over 1000 people stop by numerous times throughout the day, so here is your chance to let your voice be heard. You don't need to register to comment or leave an email address; just type in your name and let it rip!

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Briere Wants To Play This Week

from the Buffalo News,

Daniel Briere is determined to play hockey this week. The competitive nature of the Buffalo Sabres co-captain came through again Monday, when he declared he wants to return from his abdomen surgery earlier than planned. Briere was scheduled to be out until the Olympic break concludes at the end of the month, but he wants to play before NHL teams break up Sunday night.

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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.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com





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