Dirty tactics

By now chances are good you've heard about the illegal sports betting operation that Rick Tocchet was allegedly involved with. You've probably also heard that Wayne Gretzky's wife placed bets with this operation, because her name was leaked.

But why have you heard that? Why was this operation made public at all at this point in time? Given that it has been made public, why did Janet's name get leaked immediately? Janet has not been charged with anything. What about the other 12 NHL-related people and untold others who supposedly made bets? Some names have been floated, but very few... but it took no time at all for Janet Gretzky's name to leap forth from anonymous sources involved in the investigation.

Why was this operation announced publicly right now, days before the winter Olympics and the start of the Olympic ice hockey tournament? Why were investigators so quick to leak Janet's name and not others? I know why.

To distract Canada and Canadian hockey on the eve of their defense of their gold medal, in hopes of putting them off their game, to create a scandal at the best moment possible.

Seriously. Okay, stop laughing, I know you are. You probably don't give a lick about hockey, but believe me there are people who do who would stoop so low to do such a thing, for that very (shallow) reason. There is no other reason to explain why Janet Gretzky, who isn't even an athlete, would be singled out to be leaked in this situation. The only thing interesting about Janet Gretzky in this context is that she is married to Wayne Gretzky, a man of unparalled integrity and reputation, quite literally a Canadian icon (and that is putting things mildly), who just happens to be the executive director, the "heart and soul" of the Canadian men's ice hockey team, that has one just about every high-level tournament lately its been able to compete in and is favoured to win or at least make the finals this time around.

I am appalled at the conduct of the investigators, and extremely disappointed (but not surpsied) by the way the media, especially the Canadian media, has jumped on this story and dragged the Gretzky's name through the mud. It's embarassing that Canadians didn't immediately jump to their defense. Of course I realize a lot of Canadians still blame Janet for Gretzky leaving Canada to play for LA, a tough pill for Canadians to swallow, but that's no excuse.

I hope this situation only strengthens the resolve of Team Canada and we can rub the gold medal in the faces of those involved in this embarassment.

Go Canada Go!

Written on February 10, 2006