The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Hockey’s king implicated in gambling ring

By Ryan Mercer/sports editor
   With a glorious return from the lockout now in jeopardy, the NHL scrambles for answers as its Great One could be heading to the penalty box.
   The NHL’s return to competition this year was going more smoothly than many experts had expected.
   Fans have been warming up to the players again; scoring is up, and the games are more entertaining. The attendance figures prove that hockey is back, and the lockout was just a bad dream.
   With the success of this season and the upcoming winter Olym-pics, all seemed well in the land of hockey.
   But recent gambling allegations involving hockey’s greatest icon Wayne Gretzky has the NHL facing difficult hardships the rest of the season.
   Gretzky is arguably one of the biggest sports icon with the likes of Michael Jordan, Barry Bonds and Tiger Woods.
   His suspected ties to this gambling ring hurt a sport that has been criticized since the lockout.
   If Gretzky is found to have direct involvement, it will serve a crushing blow to not only his image but also the image of hockey and its players.
   Rest assured that the NHL will do everything to sweep these events under the rug and forget it ever took place. Hockey can ill afford more scrutiny after everything that has happened in the past year.
   To make it even more sour, NHL players are participating in the winter Olympics on the U.S. team, and Gretzky is the general manager of Canada’s team.
   Canada won the gold in ’02 and is favored to repeat. This gambling scandal can be the biggest story in the Olympics as it shrouds over team Canada.
   The Olympics is supposed to be about the athletes and the country they represent. Gretzky’s troubles will take away from the games and over shadow a team whose members want to compete for their team and for their country. Gretzky should have been more cautious on such a serious issue in light of all the controversy that happened this year in sports.
   Whether Gretzky is found guilty of gambling or not, his image will be tarnished. As a player, he will remain the Great One and arguably the best player to ever play hockey.
   However, Gretzky will be held to the highest accountability by the fans as well as his peers if he is charged for any involvement.
   Hockey has been hard pressed to garner any attention other than negative press. Until the end of the season, the NHL will have to answer for its great ambassador.
   The return of hockey was pleasant while it lasted, but for now, hockey will have to play its way out of this mess and stay out of the sin bin.

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