Thomas Vanek's court appearance related to gambling case: report

Reports from Rochester TV station WHEC indicate that Minnesota Wild forward Thomas Vanek was cooperating with a U.S. federal investigation involving three men charged with illegal gambling at a restaurant in Western New York.

Western New York restaurant centre of investigation

Thomas Vanek, who recently signed a three-year deal with the Minnesota Wild, was in a Rochester, N.Y. court on Monday. (Richard Tsong-Taatarii/Associated Press)

Thomas Vanek offered no comment following an appearance in a Rochester, N.Y. court on Monday.

The Minnesota Wild forward is not facing any charges and he isn't the target of a police investigation, his agent said. But reports from Rochester TV station WHEC indicate that Vanek was cooperating with a federal investigation involving three men charged with illegal gambling at a restaurant in Western New York.

"Representatives of the U.S. Federal Government have asked for my cooperation in an investigation," Vanek said in a statement released through his agent. "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.”

The Marina Restaurant and Bar in Charlotte, N.Y. was raided last month and three men were charged with 23 counts of illegal sports gambling.

Vanek spent time in the Western New York region when he played for the AHL's Rochester Americans and the NHL's Buffalo Sabres.

There's another hockey connection to the case, as the website ProHockeyTalk is reporting that Vanek's former Rochester teammate, Nathan Paetsch, is a part owner of the Marina. Paetsch is not one of the three men facing charges.

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