Thursday, February 09, 2006

If the NHL is in the news, you know it's bad news

There's a gambling ring involving the mob, NHL coaches, players, maybe an owner, and the greatest hockey player of all time (plus his delicious wife). I'm not going to get into details about this because I'm too lazy to read beyond a headline and much of the stories right now are just speculation.

I just have three thoughts:
1. People who say this could ruin the sport need to calm down. I've been hearing a lot of hyperbole -- some even saying this could be the end of the NHL. Will this be a black eye for the NHL? Yes. Will this cause the league to die? No. Baseball recovered from Pete Rose and basketball recovered from gambling controversies of the 70's. If the NHL dies, you could blame it on poor decision making by the owners and commissioner, not just on a scandal.

2. Is this an isolated incident? Gambling's big in America, and it's very popular with professional athletes. I think it's pretty naive to think that this is the first time professional athletes gambled while mingling with members of the mob. This time, people were just dumb enough to get caught.

3. No matter how bad things get for Gretzky, this is what he still has waiting for him every night:

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