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Vanek connected to federal gambling investigation

Jul 21, 2014, 6:04 PM EDT

Thomas Vanek AP

Some news involving Minnesota Wild forward Thomas Vanek, courtesy News10NBC  in Rochester:

A new development in the on-going federal gambling investigation in Rochester. A law enforcement source tells News10NBC that former Amerk and Buffalo Sabres star Thomas Vanek is connected to the investigation tied to the Marina Restaurant and Bar in Charlotte.

The investigation is centered around the three owners of the Rochester, NY bar (see their website here). An earlier police raid resulted in the three being arrested and booked on multiple counts of gambling and money laundering charges.

Vanek spent one season with the Rochester Americans in 2004-05 before moving on to the Buffalo Sabres the following season.

While Vanek and his lawyers did not comment as they left court on Monday, his agent, Steve Bartlett, issued this statement on Vanek’s behalf:

Representatives of the U.S. Federal Government have asked for my cooperation in an investigation. I am not the subject of any investigation or prosecution. I will fully cooperate with the U.S. Federal authorities in their investigation or in any proceedings arising out of it.

According to News10NBC, Bartlett says Vanek was in town to discuss his role as a witness in a Federal case. It’s also worth noting that, in an article appearing on the AHL Grand Rapids website last year, Nathan Paetsch — Vanek’s former Sabres teammate from 2005-10 — is reportedly “involved in a partnership” that owns the Marina Restaurant and Bar. According to the restaurant’s Facebook page, Paetsch had the Calder Cup on display at the restaurant last July after capturing it as part of the Griffins.

Update (8:45 p.m. ET): The Minnesota Wild have released a statement on Vanek. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly has also made a comment, via Michael Russo of The Star Tribune:

Wild: “We are aware of Thomas Vanek’s cooperation with a federal investigation and have no further comment at this time.”

Daly: “We are looking into it, but have no comment at this time.”

  1. sportsfaninyyc - Jul 21, 2014 at 6:07 PM

    Think maybe he was paid to disappear in the series vs the Rangers?? Nah

    • blomfeld - Jul 22, 2014 at 1:18 AM


      “once you’ve become an LA King’s fan, it seems that ‘everything’ is just better” … Wolfgang Meyer

      Friends … that sexy ‘angel’ who appeared ‘out of the blue’ at my store on Saturday returned today, just as I knew she would ! :) Of course we proceeded to have another ‘wonderful’ exchange and needless to say I’m now very ‘happy’ tonight, as I seriously can’t wait for tomorrow ! No sir ! Just like I can’t wait for the start of our 2014-15 LA Kings ‘repeat’ campaign !!! :) :)

      GO KINGS GO !!! … TODAY, TOMORROW AND FOREVER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :)

  2. lowenni - Jul 21, 2014 at 6:11 PM

    Hahahahaha wow. Have fun with him Wild, this guy is cancerous to a team.

    • lordfletcher - Jul 21, 2014 at 6:20 PM

      Hahahaha wow

      You are clueless of his situation and his past yet post garbage. Stay cool son

      • lowenni - Jul 21, 2014 at 6:43 PM

        What do you mean I’m clueless? I’ve been watching the guy for years and he’s been a floater for years…sure, he’s gonna put up points for you, but if this years playoff series are any indication of his future, my comment regarding his attitude and the way it reflects on a team aren’t far off. His effort is often pathetic.

      • lowenni - Jul 21, 2014 at 6:43 PM

        And while I obviously do not know whether or not he is guilty of anything in this incident, and I didn’t say I did or that he was, this situation certainly doesn’t help his reputation…one that already took a big hit this year.

      • lordfletcher - Jul 21, 2014 at 7:01 PM

        guessing most here have been watching him for years but to call Vanek a caner is not the same as a floater.

      • lowenni - Jul 21, 2014 at 7:41 PM

        I said he was cancerous–meaning “a practice or phenomenon perceived to be evil or destructive and hard to contain or eradicate”. If his attitude and effort does not improve than yes, it is something that puts forth a negative model for the many young players on the Wild roster to learn from. It’s one thing if you’ve just lost your speed altogether like Heatley did, but Vanek just doesn’t care two thirds of the time. Granted, the other third of the time he’s scoring, but that’s not the type of player you want Granlund, Haula, Coyle, and definitely the previously criticized Niederreiter learning from. It’s not my problem you don’t know what the adjective meant, his attitude is a problem that could potentially negatively effect the young players on the Wild roster. That’s a very fair statement and possibility, in my opinion.

      • lordfletcher - Jul 21, 2014 at 8:41 PM

        Can’t say some of what you are tossing around isn’t true but far from the article and not a cancer by any means. He / Vanek has had one bad post season and now everyone is bashing him. I doubt vanek’s style of play brings the team down

        He scores goals, Wild need this…. Rest will unfold


      • endusersolutions2013 - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:29 PM

        It seems to me that both the WIld and Vanek knew what they were comitting to. Wild knew his tendancies. Vanek knows the Wild play serioius team D and expect folks to pull their way both ways.

        Yeo is defensively orriented and took some convincing by his players to let go a little more offensively, take some good risks.

        I don’t Mike Y is going to go long-suffering with a guy AWOL on D. I think Vanek knows he has a growing rep, and if he wants to keep his career going forward, he’ll have to bring it.

        Recent examples of guys on a new team that needed to turn things around reputation-wise are Raffi Tores and Matt Cooke. Did they become angellic last year? Not quite, but definately played cleaner this last year.

        Will it work?????????? They’re both going to give it a chance. There is very positive upside for both.

    • illogic87 - Jul 22, 2014 at 1:45 PM

      he’s a witness, dumba**

  3. sjsharks66 - Jul 21, 2014 at 6:17 PM

    “Vanek was in town to discuss his role as a witness in a Federal case.” So he is a snitch? Uh oh… Money laundering is pretty serious. I wouldn’t doubt there are some big guys behind it. Maybe like….Walter White… Watch your back Vanek. 😮

    • jcmeyer10 - Jul 21, 2014 at 6:22 PM

      Just gotta watch out for wood chippers now that he is in Minnesota.

      • wutangwild - Jul 21, 2014 at 6:59 PM

        oh fer pete’s sake

      • 950003cups - Jul 21, 2014 at 8:44 PM


        Why you gotta bring up Pete Rose?

      • wutangwild - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:24 PM

        cups, check out Fargo. And apparently you haven’t seen Dumb and Dumber either, which is utterly astounding.

      • 950003cups - Jul 22, 2014 at 12:59 AM


        Check out Pete Rose. Apparently you don’t watch sports. Ever.

      • Hard to BeLeaf - Jul 22, 2014 at 9:51 AM

    • rsmaggiemae - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:45 PM

      The article if you read it stated that the room mate of Vaneks while he was with the Sabres had interest in the restaurant… it didnt mention Vanek at all as having a interest in this restaurant ..

  4. 34defense2014 - Jul 21, 2014 at 6:18 PM

    Here we go again!! Accusing someone of guilt before proven innocent!!

  5. royalvoyager - Jul 21, 2014 at 6:21 PM

    Don’t forget the part where he says “I am a witness” guys. C’mon

  6. enzod91 - Jul 21, 2014 at 6:40 PM

    so if a player goes to federal prison does his salary still count against the cap??? hahha

    • avfanforlife - Jul 21, 2014 at 6:52 PM

      No – But he becomes a Restricted Un-free Agent.

      • enzod91 - Jul 21, 2014 at 6:58 PM

        well played

  7. ewampus - Jul 21, 2014 at 6:55 PM

    Lloyd Christmas: I’ll bet you twenty bucks I can get you gambling before the end of the day!

    Harry Dunne: No way!

    Lloyd Christmas: I’ll give you three to one odds.

    Harry Dunne: No.

    Lloyd Christmas: Five to one.

    Harry Dunne: No.

    Lloyd Christmas: Ten to one?

    Harry Dunne: You’re on!

    Lloyd Christmas: I’m gonna get ya!

    Harry Dunne: Nuh uh!

    Lloyd Christmas: I don’t know how, but I’m gonna get ya.

    • 950003cups - Jul 21, 2014 at 8:46 PM

      What on gods green earth are you talking about? And what kind of complete morons actually gave you a thumbs up?

      • rmccleary97 - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:18 PM

      • lightning79 - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:54 PM

        who the F(*%# doesn’t know who Harry & Lloyd are? LOL

      • Hard to BeLeaf - Jul 22, 2014 at 9:54 AM


      • clarke16 - Jul 22, 2014 at 9:58 AM

        Ching Wa? You go now. Bring emergency egg roll order to dumb dumb pronto! Maybe make him smarter. We try. Maybe turn dumb dumb from federal idiocy statistic. Go now. Go now!

    • getadealdonealready - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:20 PM

      950003cups – doesn’t get out of mom’s basement much so please forgive his ignorance

      • 950003cups - Jul 22, 2014 at 1:02 AM

        Yer just a real hum-dinger, aren’t ya.

  8. wutangwild - Jul 21, 2014 at 6:59 PM

    great, grand, wonderful!
    Not the kind of news I want to hear in the offseason…

  9. arrooo - Jul 21, 2014 at 7:17 PM

    Islanders dropped a dime

    • capsfan14 - Jul 22, 2014 at 7:40 AM

      They also basically threw away their first round pick…

  10. purplove1 - Jul 21, 2014 at 7:28 PM

    A bunch of nothing. Had this been in season, it would not have been mentioned. It’s the slow news season for NHL. Vanek is home and will play lights out. Surer, Koivu, Parise, and coach, will
    Not let this guy fall into an abys like he did in Montreal. He will feel at home and want to play night in and night out. Huge difference than playing for his 3rd team in two years and living in a hotel. He is at home with his family who lives in Minny year around. If anyone cannot understand that, they have issues.

    If this was a player in the NFL, it would be par for the course.

    • 950003cups - Jul 21, 2014 at 8:49 PM

      Any player involved in gambling is “news”. Nobody will care because nobody bets on hockey. So it’s not like anyone cares to fix a game. If you did, I’m sure you would approach the goalie. Not a hack has-been forward.

  11. lennaykekua - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:07 PM

    Rick Tocchet, Jeremy Roenick and Janet Gretzky hired as “consultants”.

  12. spizzjr - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:10 PM

    Thank god the isles got rid of him should never have traded moulson but glad he didn’t stick around

    • rsmaggiemae - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:50 PM

      You can have Moulson back, what a waste of time and money for the Wild
      and to spend 5.5 mil a year for this guy and he gets a 11 mil signing bonus on top of the salary.
      He did nothing in the playoffs for the Wild, just stood there like he was frozen, he was never happy here and I was never happy that the Wild picked him up. He does not play the western style of hockey… he is used to the eastern style, stand around and wait for the puck to come to you no hustle at all on the ice for him
      Just a deadbeat on the ice for the Wild.
      You can have him

  13. rsmaggiemae - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:31 PM

    Dont ever call anyone cancerous, as I take exception to that
    I went thru 7 long years of chemotherapy enduring 3 types of cancer
    you should be ashamed of yourself
    In regards to Vanek being a floater. have followed his career starting with the Gopher and all the years with the Sabres as I get NHL Center iCE so I see all of his games
    He is not a floater, he is one of the best scoring wings in the NHL
    He just had no chemistry with 2 of the lines with the Habs
    He was a huge threat against the Bruins in fact scored a hat trick against them last fall..
    He has not been proven guilty in anything so just cool your jets wait until all the facts are in./
    Dont jump to conclusions

    • avscup - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:46 PM

      Only someone who has survived cancer might understand you. I do! I have!

      I don’t always agree with you but being a former player from your state and a survivor, I respect you.

      Stay well friend!

      • rsmaggiemae - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:53 PM

        I dont expect everyone to agree with me on everything…
        but people who use those words to describe a person really irritates me as they have no Idea what you go thru and 7 years with 10 different chemos, and 4 surgeries was pure H-ll.
        I am lucky to be alive, but I am in remission now, but the stage and grade of my cancers is not good, and it is just a matter of time…. thats why I make every minute count of every day…..

      • rsmaggiemae - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:55 PM

        what kind did you have???

      • avscup - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:39 PM

        Adinocarcinoma in several different parts of the body. Only one year into it but so far so good. Best of luck to you in your battle.

    • hockeyflow33 - Jul 22, 2014 at 1:26 AM

      This is pure nonsense and stop being a victim from a message board. No one is comparing cancer to being cancerous to a team.

      You should really learn the definition of the word as calling someone cancerous to a team is an appropriate use of the word.

      • avscup - Jul 22, 2014 at 10:16 AM

        I don’t think he’s a playing victim, he just hates the term. Walk one minute in his shoes and you would have a clue!

      • hockeyflow33 - Jul 22, 2014 at 2:34 PM

        It’s a message board to talk about hockey, you have no idea whether or not I’ve had cancer and I would never bring it up on a hockey post. The word was used appropriately.

  14. d1122 - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:44 PM

    so glad the Isles did not bring him back, of course Snow tried hard to bring him back but that is because Snow is missing at least 80% of his brain

    • govtminion - Jul 22, 2014 at 9:40 AM

      It’s not “missing”… he just, you know, keeps it in a little jar on his desk next to his coffee cup and a picture of Gary Busey.

  15. 34defense2014 - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:33 PM

    His past? What the f… Foes that have to do with anything related to this lordfletcher!! You moron!! I could careless if he was caught betting on Hockey games in the past!! That still would be completely irrelevant to this case!!!

    • lordfletcher - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:48 PM

      Dippy do… I wasn’t trying to say anything about his past at all. The original poster saying vanek was a cancer d/t previous play was laughable and off point. I even said that in a reply – as in everything he was saying had nothing to do with the article…. Learn where to post next time.

      K…. Thanks

  16. bgm9876 - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:02 PM

    Vanek should find something other than gambling to do in the off season.

    • 950003cups - Jul 22, 2014 at 1:05 AM

      He’s a hack.

    • avscup - Jul 22, 2014 at 10:20 AM

      Did you miss the part of the article where it says he is a witness or did you just come here to make a moronic post?

  17. purpleguy - Jul 22, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    This comment string was more interesting than the article: Vanek’s a cancer, to wood chippers, to Dumb and Dumber, to restaurants, to gambling and back to actual cancer . . . . . . If things kept up, by the 74th comment there’d be a post from 950003Cups with a recipe for guacamole.

    • wutangwild - Jul 22, 2014 at 12:11 PM

      Nothing like a well-rounded comment thread on a slow Tuesday morning. Waiting for that guacamole recipe, cups…

  18. wkkortas - Jul 22, 2014 at 1:15 PM

    I’d assumed any court case involving Vanek would have been related to a missing-person’s report filed by the Canadiens.

  19. illogic87 - Jul 22, 2014 at 1:46 PM

    Glad all you fool skipped to the comment section before reading the article. He hasnt been charged with a crime, he is a witness.

  20. bhinrichs9 - Jul 22, 2014 at 2:56 PM

    All I want to know is he going to lace them up this Fall or will he be in jail/suspended?

    • avscup - Jul 22, 2014 at 10:50 PM

      Please, FFS, read before posting. Perhaps then you would have learned from the article, because it said his former roommate owned a part if the restaurant, Vanek is not under investigation, he is being questioned as a witness

      Then again maybe not. Others didn’t get that part either!

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