NEWARK, N.J. (CP) - Text of a statement by Kevin Marino, lawyer for Phoenix Coyotes assistant coach Rick Tocchet:
The allegation that Rick Tocchet financed an illegal gambling operation involving organized crime figures is categorically false and irresponsible. The suggestion that Rick Tocchet has any connection to organized crime is simply without basis in fact, is clearly defamatory and is highly damaging. Mr. Tocchet is one of the most well-respected men ever to play in the National Hockey League. He is respected not just for his playing prowess, but for his integrity, his determination and his strength. Mr. Tocchet is devoted to his family, his team and his fans, and he has always worked hard to earn their admiration on and off the ice. We deeply regret the (New Jersey) Attorney General's precipitous charges, which threaten to irreparably tarnish his reputation, and we are appalled that these unproven allegations have spawned a media frenzy. Mr. Tocchet intends to fight these charges with the same grit and resolve he displayed throughout his long and illustrious NHL career.
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