Vanek Has To Know When To Hold 'Em, Know When To Fold 'Em

Could anyone be having a worse 6 months than Thomas Vanek?

The former Buffalo Sabre, New York Islander, Montreal Canadien and current Minnesota Wild winger, is reportedly in some hot water with the U.S. Federal Government.  According to an NBC affiliate in Rochester, Vanek was summoned to the Federal Court House in Western New York because of his “involvement” in money laundering and illegal gambling activity charges stemming from The Marina Restaurant and Bar in Rochester, NY.

Vanek’s “involvement” is unknown at this time, but his attorney and agent are adamant that he was only there as a witness. 

The Marina was raided just about a month ago and indicted three men on 23 counts of running an illegal gambling business.  Those same three also face multiple money laundering charges as they were using off shore websites to run the ring.  More than $80,000 in cash of gambling proceeds was also seized during last month’s raid.

Nathan Paetsch, Vanek’s former teammate on the AHL’s Rochester Amerks and Buffalo Sabres, may be the common denominator and link to Vanek in this case, as Paetsch is a part owner of The Marina.

Just to recap the last couple of months for Thomas Vanek: he turned down a reported 7 year $50 million deal to stay with the Islanders, gets traded to the Montreal Canadiens, had a brutal Eastern Conference Final vs. the Rangers collecting only 2 assists while being a -4 in 6 games, turned down another big Islanders offer, signed a 3 year $19.5 million deal with his hometown Minnesota Wild, and now is being probed by the Feds.

Hopefully Vanek and his people are being truthful regarding this current issue, but maybe it’s time for the former 40 goal scorer to start making better decisions because something tells me that when his current three year deal is up, he will not be making anywhere close to the $7 million he would have been if he stayed on Long Island.