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The Bad Boys of hockey and the Mafia

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Following his retirement and entrance into the league’s coaching ranks, Tocchet began booking bets on football for a clientele consisting of mostly pro hockey personnel. According to sources, Tocchet’s sports book had ties to the mafia in Philadelphia and New Jersey and paid a street tax to a Bruno-Scarfo crime family crew belonging to one-time underboss Joe (Mousie) Massimino, also using the Massimino crew as a layoff bank for heavy action.


Wayne Gretzky, the greatest hockey player of all-time and Tocchet’s boss when he was arrested in 2006 – Gretzky was the Coyotes head coach, general manager and part owner – was heard on an FBI wiretap talking about his wife’s gambling debts and how he could keep her name out of the looming inquiry into Tocchet’s bookmaking activities. Gretzky is married to 1980s-era actress Janet Jones.

Per the investigation, Jones had placed roughly $500,000 worth of bets with Tocchet. Retired NHL players Jeremy Roenick and Travis Green were also implicated as frequent clients of Tocchet’s sports book. Roenick was a nine-time NHL All-Star and one of the best American-born players in pro hockey history. Green, a journeyman in the league throughout the 1990s and 2000s and a well-known poker ace, is the head coach of the Vancouver Canucks today.


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This was pretty crazy, hard to believe it was true.


And some player names on the team that I recognize as former NHL'ers as well playing for cash no less like Rumun Ndur, Brent Gretzky and Mike Rupp.

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I watched this maybe a month or so ago ... it was thoroughly entertaining.   Mike Rupp literally getting a duffel bag full of cash to come play during the lockout (and let's be honest he wasn't really that good of an NHLer - but still shows how good these guys are that make it) ... it's impossible not to smile and admire these guys loyalty ... there was so much left unsaid - but said at the same time.   Loyalty was a theme and the take away i got from it.    These guys got away with a lot - a couple hundred years in jail, because nobody ratted.    The phones got them ... taps etc.   But nobody really talked.    Incredible story. 

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