Hopefully, the New Jersey State Police were better at probing the Rick Tocchet illegal gambling matter than whoever is in charge of leaking juicy tidbits to the press.
The latest unattributed revelation is that Gretzky may not have known about Tocchet’s alleged involvement in an illegal gambling ring — and that his wife was reportedly placing bets through it — until the cops called him Monday afternoon.
And the infamous, widely reported, wiretapped call to Tocchet? That may well have been made after the police clued in The Great One, and after the Coyotes practiced on Monday.
If the latest info is true (a huge leap of faith considering this story twists and turns like Alexander Ovechkin on a breakaway), then it supports Gretzky’s claims that he didn’t know what was up until very late in the third period of this game. That surprised look when Gretzky was asked if his wife’s involvement after Monday’s practice? Claims Gretzky “lied” during comments from Tuesday’s postgame press conference? This all needs to be reviewed.
One thing is for certain: Gretzky is right by doing what he’s doing — remain coach of the Coyotes, remain executive director of Team Canada and wait for what appears to be a very muddled, and evolving process to run its course.
Gretzky must have known Tocchet was a gambler — and hired him anyway. He must have known his wife was a heavy gambler. The question is, did he know how they were gambling? In the end, Gretzky could be guilty of nothing more than backing his friend and protecting his wife, both of whom did a very poor job of returning the favor.
Even the most cynical of sports followers (hey, put down those pointing fingers) feel for Michelle Kwan today.
All the way back to 1994, when the 13-year-old Kwan qualified at the U.S. Trials but sat out while Tonya “The Knee Whacker” Harding was allowed to compete, dark clouds have followed her in Olympic years. After watching teammates Tara Lipinski (1998) and Sarah Hughes (2002) win the gold medal that has somehow eluded her, who wasn’t pulling for her this time around?
• If Mother Nature had just given us a little heads up, turns out we could have held the Winter Olympics in New York City. Think about watching skiers slalom around stalled-out cabs on Fifth Avenue, or the Nordic combined through Central Park.
• How could I have lived this long without knowing all about “The Flying Tomato?” Redhead Shaun White may not like his nickname, but to the gold- medal winner in the halfpipe, I can only say “Radical, dude.”
• It’s official — Bode Miller on two beers just isn’t the same.