Our Michael Russo filed a lengthy update on Thomas Vanek's on- and off-ice issues this afternoon following Wild practice. In case you've missed it, Vanek, the former University of Minnesota star now with the Wild, is struggling this season and has been linked to an illegal gambling ring in Buffalo. Vanek played for the Sabres from 2005-13.
Vanek has admitted to the gambling, which involved professional football and violates no NHL rules.
The Buffalo News has an in-depth piece on Vanek that lays out plenty if you're curious for more. It includes interviews with the lawyers for the alleged gambling ring operators.
Jack Johnson, one of the top American defensemen in the NHL, got his start to fame at Shattuck-St. Mary's, and has been an NHL and Olympic star.
But his sad story is now the case of a professional athlete who made millions of dollars and lost it to people he thought he could trust.
The Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman declared bankruptcy.
This Columbus Dispatch story tells the tale; it's worth a read.
One of the NFL's first big stars, Minnesota native Gordy Soltau, died Sunday. He was 89.
Soltau, born in Duluth, played offense, defense and special teams for the Gophers after serving in World War II. He was teammates with Bud Grant, Jim Malosky, Clayton Tonnemaker and Verne Gagne. The Duluth Central graduate was drafted by the Green Bay Packers but played nine seasons for the San Francisco 49ers. He retired as the team's all-time leading scorer with 644 points. That's still fifth in team history.
Soltau, (No. 51 behind the runner) in 1951 against New York (AP photo)
There's also a statement from the 49ers
Speaking publicly for the first time since Adrian Peterson was indicted in a child abuse case in Texas, his mother told the Houston Chronicle on Wednesday her son is "trying hard to be a good parent."
"I don't care what anybody says. Most of us disciplined our kids a little more than we meant sometimes," Bonita Jackson, 50, said in an interview from her home in Spring, a Houston suburb. "But we were only trying to prepare them for the real world."
From the article:
Jackson said that both she and his father, Nelson Peterson, who lives in Dallas, were "big disciplinarians" with their children as they grew up, She said she used her hand, switches and belts to occasionally spank all of her six children in order to correct their behavior.
She said her son, who married in July, has six children from different mothers. He supports and sees those children often. "He wants to be a good father to them all," she said.
While her son's success has brought him accolades, she said it also puts him in the limelight so that every nuance of his life is dissected under the microscope. "People are cruel and forget that this is about a family struggling to survive and do what's best," she said.
A once promising professional football future is up in the air for Seantrel Henderson.
The former Cretin-Derham Hall stud lineman who had his pick of top-notch colleges failed to complete his University of Miami Pro Day workout for NFL teams on Thursday. ESPN's Chris Mortensen tweeted that Henderson "quit" the drills. Henderson's agent, however, said Henderson was "dehydrated and felt sick."
Henderson (who measured in at 6-7, 339 pounds) was one of 19 Hurricanes seniors at Thursday's session, attended by representatives of 30 NFL teams.
Considered a can't-miss offensive lineman recruit, Henderson originally signed to play at USC but was granted a release and instead chose Miami. He's had success with the Hurricanes, but also trouble including multiple suspensions and an inability to secure a starting job.
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