Gretzky's Wife Linked To Gambling Ring

Wayne and wife Janet Gretzky smile as they arrive for the annual NHL awards in Toronto on Thursday, June 24, 1999. Wayne Gretzky's wife and about a half-dozen NHL players placed bets _ but not on hockey _ with a nationwide sports gambling ring financed by Phoenix Coyotes assistant coach Rick Tocchet, New Jersey authorities said Tuesday Feb. 7, 2006. (AP Photo/Frank Gunn) AP

He's one of the most famous hockey players ever, Wayne Gretzky. She's his sexy movie star wife turned mom. Now Janet Jones is back in the center of some serious drama, CBS News correspondent Sharon Alfonsi reports.

She's being tied to a sports gambling ring that could stretch from coast to coast. The Great One's wife could be in a great deal of trouble.

"First of all, my wife is my best friend," Gretzky told reporters. "My love for her is deeper than anything. The reality is, I'm not involved, I wasn't involved and I'm not going to be involved."

Police are calling it "Operation Slap Shot." They say Gretzky's wife, along with about a half-dozen NHL players, may have been among those who bet big on pro sports, but not pro hockey.

Investigators say it was all organized by a New Jersey state trooper and a former NHL hockey player, Rick Tocchet, Gretzky's close friend and top assistant coach for the Phoenix Coyotes.

Tocchet is scheduled to meet in New York Wednesday with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.

Gretzky, revered as hockey's greatest player who is now in his first season as coach of the Coyotes, met with reporters after his team's 3-1 loss to Chicago on Tuesday night and said he had no knowledge of any gambling allegations until Tocchet called him Monday night.

"The sad thing about this whole scenario is that Rick is a wonderful person and a great guy, so I hope everything works out in his favor," Gretzky said. "It's hard because I love the guy. He's a great guy, you know. I just hope it all works out for him."

Gretzky said his wife was in California and they talked, but she did not speak about her involvement.

Gretzky said "absolutely not" when asked if she had placed bets for him.

Except for trips to Las Vegas, Gretzky said, he's no gambler.

  • Joel Roberts

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