07 February, 2006

Sound the horn, Heimdall.

As more information comes out in dribs and drabs about the Rick Tocchet betting scandal, the more afraid I am for the future of the NHL.

See, it's not the gambling thing that bugs me--much. Individuals placing bets in Vegas, making small-change wagers with friends (a la "Betcha one of your Camel Twists that the Steelers won't score on this drive"), that kind of thing--that's one thing.

But this....this is huge. It's a big-time gambling ring set up across state lines. I mean, fuck--organized crime is involved. How damn stupid do you have to be to get all caught up with that mess?

OK, so according to sources there's an owner involved--all signs point to Wayne Gretzky (just cos his wife placed wagers with the ring), but for some reason I don't think so. Some are praying that Chicago Blackhawks owner Bill Wirtz is the owner involved in the ring, but Wirtz is smarter than that. He's a crook and a dirtbag--but he's untouchable in the Land of Lincoln, thanks to having most of the legislature and more than a few law enforcement types in his pocket--were he involved with a gambling ring, he'd never take it across state lines where the Feds could nab him.

My gut says it's Mario. He's the one owner in the most tenuous position financially (as far as his team is concerned), and his behaviour lately regarding the viability of his team in the 'Burgh has been quite puzzling. You'd think that he'd be doing a lot more work to try to keep the Pens in their home, but I'm just not seeing it.

Honestly? I hope I'm wrong--but I've a sinking feeling that I'll turn out to be right and that I'll be watching Hodr hurl the mistletoe dart at the heart of his brother.

Sound the horn, Heimdall. The fire giants are on the march.