Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/07/06 at 05:31 PM ET
Now that a "covert" police operation in New Jersey has busted an illegal bookmaking operation, the New Jersey State Police's "overt" investigation will kick into high gear and that could be the NHL’s worst nightmare.More updates will be added to this thread as they become available. note: If you want to follow what has been happening the last few hours, you can read about it in this post. update 3:47pm, Statement from the Bill Daly of the NHL-
"While we know little more than has been released publicly, we understand that Mr. Tocchet's conduct in no way involved betting on hockey. And, while betting on football or other sports may be the pervasive issue, it in no way justifies poor judgment or otherwise alleged inappropriate conduct. "With respect to the alleged conduct of the unnamed players, it is difficult to have any comment at this point, although everything we have heard, again, indicates it is not hockey-related."update 5:03pm, via the AP,
Wayne Gretzky's wife and about a half-dozen NHL players placed bets - but not on hockey - with a nationwide sports gambling ring financed by Phoenix Coyotes assistant coach Rick Tocchet, authorities said Tuesday. Gretzky, hockey's greatest player, is in his first season coaching the Coyotes and is a part-owner of the team. Actress-wife Janet Jones was among those implicated, two law enforcement officials told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because no bettors have been publicly identified.update 5:50pm, David from the Ice Block brings up the Roenick incident, something I cannot even recall.
I have yet to see a Jeremy Roenick mention. Remember, he didn’t bet on hockey either after he paid over $100k for betting tips.more update 6:09pm, ESPN (Sportscenter) had a bit of the interview Wayne Gretzky did earlier today and a reporter asked him that talk is his wife is involved in this. Wayne looked a little surprised and said he did not know, you would have to ask her. update 6:19pm, Fan 590 in Toronto had a law enforcement person on from New Jersey and this is not over by any means. The FBI is now in the picture, more high profile names are involved and more arrests are coming. Still investigating if hockey betting was involved, but did say the majority of the bets were on football and basketball. update 6:22pm, from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
Here's my quick take based on what we've heard out of New Jersey on Tuesday afternoon: Rick Tocchet appears to be in a world of trouble. And he may be dragging some of hockey's biggest names down with him.read on update 6:40pm, via ESPN, Lt. Gerald Lewis of the New Jersey State Police public information office told ESPN.com that other athletes, some retired and some currently active, would be interviewed, but he wouldn't say how many are connected to the NHL. Lewis said the interest in talking to the people who were placing bets is to determine if there was an illegality on the part of the bettors and also to try to learn more about the scope of the betting operation. He said the NHL had not been contacted during the investigation even though the league has a security arm that tries to educate players to possible legal problems. He said the state police were under no obligation to share their information with the league prior to the laying of charges. Lewis said he would hope "that at some point [the NHL] would investigate." update 8:10pm, from Eric Duhtaschek of the Globe and Mail,
In many ways, Bettman's response to the charges was more decisive than usual, an indication that he's taking the matter seriously. His normal pattern would be simply to stall and bluster and misdirect and wait for more significant evidence of wrong-doing before proceeding with any kind of action that would lend credence to the charges. Instead, he indicated that Tocchet would not be behind the bench for Wednesday's game against the Chicago Blackhawks (after Gretzky previously indicated that it was business as usual for his Coyotes); and that the league would conduct its own independent investigation of the matter, to determine how far-reaching the matter really went.read on update 8:15pm, How big is this? Maybe a visit to Vancouver Canucks Op Ed will help you decide. Or maybe the resident Naval Officer has the proper response. update 9:43pm, This thread is being put to bed. Stories regarding this topic will now be posted in individual threads. So start from the top of the page and work your way down.
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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.
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