08 February, 2006

Rumors, Bargains, and Lies

Today at work, I was thinking about my post yesterday, where I mentioned Mario Lemieux in connection with Wagergate--and now that I think about it the more I find myself convinced that Mario isn't a part of this....or that if he is, it's only because he found out that Mark Recchi was part of Rick Tocchet's gambling ring (which would explain the trade rumors that have suddenly arisen involving Rex--Mario's gotta keep the team's image as clean as possible so he can get buyers in Pittsburgh and get that arena deal done.

Wayne, OTOH.....

Which brings me to the next part of today's post.

Jes Golbez has got a bug up his ass about everyone who's going "oh noes!" over Wagergate. Specifically, he doesn't see what the big deal is and that people are getting their knickers in a wad over nothing.

I can understand that--after all, he lives in BC and votes NDP. (just messin' with you, Jes)

On various message boards, there are some that are taking a similar tack and claiming that anyone who's ever wagered anything on anything has no right to comment--and (in a couple cases) that, moreover, the gambling laws in this country are stupid anyway and should be repealed.

That's all well and good, but issues that we fans may or may not have with the law aside:

This is NOT a good thing for the League--period. Even if an investigation shows beyond a reasonable doubt that no betting on hockey occurred, there will still be hints and allegations and whispers that just maybe inside information was given to bookies or bettors to influence wagers, or that just maybe there was some payoff occurring somewhere to influence the outcome of a crucial game.

Even if it never happened, there's always going to be that dark cloud hanging over the players involved, the teams involved, and the NHL in general because of the possible mob ties and the image that "under-the-table" betting has (again, because of links to organized crime).

The idiocy of Todd Bertuzzi, Marty McSorely, and Dale Hunter (which Jes brings up in his post) is nothing compared to this, nothing. I mean, those three incidents were considered "black eyes" on the League--but at least what happened was all out there, was in public and witnessed by thousands of people, and was caught on tape. This, however, is different because it wasn't conducted in public. So unless the League does something serious in response to this to distance themselves from the people involved--even Wayne Gretzky, if it comes to that--then I really do think that there will be some serious and potentially irreparable damage done to what little image the NHL has left.

Just my 1/50 of a dollar.