Thomas Vanek, a winger with the Minnesota Wild in the NHL, was questioned on July 21 in relation the arrest of three men in Rochester, New York, reports WHEC-TV. The three men were charged with running a sports betting business out of the Marina Bar in upstate New York. Vanek’s involvement in the case is unclear at this stage.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Questioning Centers Around Alleged Gambling in a New York Bar
In June, the Marina Bar & Restaurant in Rochester, New York, was raided by the FBI. Three managers of the bar were arrested and charged with numerous counts of illegal gambling and money laundering. According to the Feds, patrons of the bar placed bets on games that were shown in the bar.
2. Vanek Says He Isn’t Being Prosecuted
Vanek is not a suspect in the case. His involvement was discovered by WHEC-TV who caught Vanek leaving the courthouse. Despite not giving any comment to a reporter, he later released an official statement:
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.
3. Another NHL Player Is Involved in the Case
4. Vanek’s Family Escaped Communist Opression in the 80s
Vanek is a native of Austria, he was born there in 1984, just after his parents escaped communist Czechoslovakia . His father was a pro-hockey player in Austria. In 1998, Vanek moved to the U.S. when he was 14. The family settled in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where Vanek played for O’Gorman Catholic High School and junior hockey with Sioux Falls Stampede.
5. His Wife Stayed Behind in the U.S. While Vanek Went to Play in Europe
He’s married to his wife Ashley, the couple have three sons together. Ashley Vanek is a native of the St. Paul area, while Vanek had a spell playing in Europe, she and the couple’s three sons stayed in Minnesota. Ashley Vanek is friends with Jaclyn Paetsch, wife of Nathan Paetsch, on Facebook.