Vanek testifies in gambling case

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 22, 2014 - 2:37 AM

The veteran winger and new Wild signee appeared voluntarily and is not charged with any crime.

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Former Gopher Thomas Vanek signed a three-year, $19 million deal with the Wild this offseason.

Photo: Richard Tsong-Taatarii, Star Tribune

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Recently-signed Wild winger Thomas Vanek was in federal court in Rochester, N.Y., on Monday as part of an ongoing gambling investigation, WHEC-TV reported.

Vanek’s appearance apparently stems from the June arrest of three men on gambling and money laundering charges. The three men were allegedly conducting an illegal gambling business out the Marina Restaurant and Bar in Charlotte, N.Y., since Jan. 2012.

The TV station reported, “Vanek is not charged with any crime, and he voluntarily came to the federal court building with his lawyer.”

In a statement e-mailed to the Star Tribune by Vanek’s agent Steve Bartlett, Vanek said, “Representatives of the U.S. Federal Government have asked for my cooperation in an investigation. I am not the subject of any investigation or prosecution. I will fully cooperate with the U.S. Federal authorities in their investigation or in any proceedings arising out of it.”

Bartlett said Vanek is a witness in a federal case and, “No further comment on the matter will be made at this time.”

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told the Star Tribune, “We are looking into it but have no comment at this time.”

The Wild reacted similarly. “We are aware of Thomas Vanek’s cooperation with a federal investigation and have no further comment at this time.”

Vanek, 30, played for the Rochester Amerks in 2004-05 and played nine seasons for the Buffalo Sabres before being traded last season to the New York Islanders, then the Montreal Canadiens. On July 1, the former Gophers star signed a three-year, $19.5 million contract with the Wild.

His 277 career goals rank eighth in the NHL since the start of the 2005-06 season.

Prosser signs with Blues

Former Wild defenseman Nate Prosser signed a one-year deal with the St. Louis Blues. The Elk River native played 126 games for the Wild over parts of five seasons.

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