NHL General

Rick Tocchet gambling ring update

Honey, what’s the line on
the Lakers-Suns tonight?

Things are certainly heating up in the “Operation Slap Shot” scandal. Rick Tocchet was put on an indefinite leave of absence by the NHL and the commissioner reserves the right to change the terms of the leave of absence at any time, i.e. fire his ass whenever the truth comes out. The NHL is in full damage control mode, having hired the Unabomber prosecutor to investigate the matter.

Meanwhile, a couple of other names were added to the list of those involved in the gambling ring in some capacity, Mark Recchi and John LeClair, former Flyers players. Recchi and LeClair have denied the allegations and threatened to sue the TV station in Philly that leaked their names.

The most sensational part of this scandal is the potential involvement with organized crime. In the early 1990s, when Tochett was still with the Flyers, he was linked to a mobster named Joey Merlino who bet heavily on hockey games using information he obtained from Tocchet. Merlino was also linked to Eric Lindros at the time. The feds have not specified Merlino by name but do mention the link to Merlino’s organization.

Lots of rumors abound and one in particular is very damaging. While the Great One claims to have no knowledge of his wife’s gambling habits, rumor has it that she placed as much as $500,000 in bets. I know Gretzky is rich but 500 grand is alot of money to toss around. Gretzky said that he and his wife did not discuss her involvement and only talked about their concern for Tocchet. Yeah, I’m sure in discussing the biggest scandal to rock the NHL, her bets didn’t come up in the conversation.

We’ll keep you updated as we find out more but for now here are two commentaries you should read.

[James Mirtle]: The Rick Tocchet scandal: Day 3
[Tom Benjamin]: Ticky Tacky Tocchet

By Vin

Vin is a Philly boy who shouldn't be invited into your house because he'll judge you on your book and music collection. He owns Dawkins, Utley, Iverson, and Lindros jerseys, which is all you really need to know about him. He can be reached at [email protected]

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