Thursday, February 09, 2006

Wayne Gretzky, Janet Jones Gretzky implicated in Operation Slapshot

It is expected Gretzky's starlet wife Janet Jones will make an announcement on Thursday regarding her involvement in the gambling ring. -- As Wayne Gretzky prepares to deal with the pressure of defending Olympic gold in Torino, the legal pressure in Phoenix continues to mount after new wire-tap revelations involving The Great One surfaced on Thursday.
According to law enforcement sources, state wiretaps have Gretzky discussing the multimillion-dollar gambling operation run by his friend Rick Tocchet prior to Monday's disclosure and dismantling. The Newark Star-Ledger reported confirmation of the wiretaps on its web site Thursday.The fact remains there is no evidence of Gretzky placing bets, but the secret phone recordings reveal the Coyotes' coach knew of the multimillion-dollar gambling ring prior to the scandal hitting the headlines. Investigators are looking into whether or not Gretzky's wife, Janet Jones, was the one who placed bets. Reports surrounding Jones surfaced on Wednesday, citing Jones made over $500,000 in wagers over a short-period of time; including $75,000 on last weekend's Super Bowl.Hockey players are prohibited from making NHL wagers, legal or otherwise. There are no rules that forbid them from betting on other sports.The next step by investigators might be to issue a subpoena ordering Gretzky to testify before a state grand jury.Richard Nairn, vice president of communications for the Coyotes, declined to comment Wednesday on Gretzky's knowledge of the case."Wayne spoke (Tuesday) night and we are done speaking at this time," Nairn said.During a news conference Tuesday night, Gretzky said he had no knowledge of any gambling allegations until Tocchet called him Monday night. He also said his wife would speak to reporters at some point about allegations against her.Tocchet has been granted an indefinite leave of absence by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, who also ordered a gag-order prohibiting all GMs to comment publicly on the current investigation. Tocchet must immediately cease all contact and communication with all NHL and team personnel and stay away for the duration of his leave.
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