NHL Notes: Vanek tied to gambling investigation

NHL Notes: Vanek tied to gambling investigation
July 21, 2014, 8:00 pm
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Thomas Vanek scored 27 goals and 68 points with three teams -- the Sabres, Islanders and Canadiens -- last season. (AP)

CSNPhilly.com/AP

Minnesota Wild forward Thomas Vanek has been connected to a federal gambling investigation, according to Rochester's News10NBC (via ProHockeyTalk).

Vanek on Monday was spotted heading into a federal court building in downtown Rochester with his lawyer voluntarily. No charges were filed against the 30-year-old. He spent eight years with the Buffalo Sabres and one season with the Rochester Americans in 2004-05.

"Representatives of the U.S. Federal Government have asked for my cooperation in an investigation," Steve Bartlett, Vanek's agent, said in a statement on behalf of his client. "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."

The investigation relates to the Marina Restaurant and Bar in Charlotte where three men, including the co-owners of the New York-based restaurant, Paul Borrelli and Joseph Ruff, are facing over 20 counts of illegal gambling charges.

Vanek spent the majority of last season split between the New York Islanders and the Montreal Canadiens after a trade sent him to Long Island early in the season from the Sabres. An unrestricted free agent, Vanek signed a three-year, $19.5 million contract with the Wild on July 1.

- CSNPhilly.com

Leafs: Cody Franson signed, avoids arbitration
TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs and Cody Franson have avoided arbitration, with the defenseman signing a $3.3 million, one-year contract.

This is the third straight one-year deal for Franson, who missed most of training camp last season after a contract dispute.

The 26-year-old player is getting a raise from his $2 million contract in 2013-14, when he led all Toronto defensemen with 33 points.

Franson has 28 goals and 105 assists in 333 career NHL games. He was a third-round pick of the Nashville Predators in 2005.

- The Associated Press

Capitals: Kirilenko ends engagement with Ovechkin
MOSCOW -- Another sports power couple's engagement is off.

Two months after golfer Rory McIlroy broke off his engagement to Danish tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, Russian tennis player Maria Kirilenko says she has called off her planned wedding to three-time NHL MVP Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals.

The two had been together since 2011 and became engaged in December 2012.

Kirilenko says in comments distributed by the Russian Tennis Federation that there were "a lot of reasons" behind her decision.

She says "our relationship is over, but I respect Sasha (Ovechkin) as a person and as an athlete and I respectfully wish him further sporting success."

Ovechkin had faced questions from Russian media about the relationship when he did not accompany Kirilenko to Wimbledon last month.

- The Associated Press

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