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hrmmm.. hes calling everyones bluff i think... i believe hes more involved in this than hes letting on.

Wayne Gretzky briefly addressed the rumors of his knowledge of the illegal gambling ring that is casting a dark shadow over the NHL on the eve of the Olympic Opening Ceremonies.

Following the Coyotes 5-2 loss to the Stars in Phoenix, Gretzky told members of the media that he has no plans to step down as an NHL coach or as executive director of Team Canada.

"I'm not going anywhere," Gretzky said. "I'm still going to coach the Phoenix Coyotes. I've done nothing wrong.

"I'm going to Italy on Sunday. I'm going to be with Team Canada."

The details of Operation Slapshot continue to filter out.

Last night it was reported by the Arizona Republic that Coyotes GM Mike Barnett placed a bet with Rick Tocchet on the Super Bowl.

In light of the report, Barnett made these comments in a released statement:

''I met with investigators from the State of New Jersey last night and answered all of their questions honestly and their entirety. They informed me that my conduct has in no way violated either federal or state laws. Due to the ongoing nature of their investigation, I can't comment any further at this time.”

Janet Jones, the wife of Gretzky who is also implicated as placing bets with the ring, released a statement of her own defending her husband.

"At no time did I ever place a wager on my husband's behalf," the statement read. "Other than the occasional horse race, my husband does not bet on any sports."

Police officials have not formally named any of the people who placed bets and the names of all possible bettors have all come from anonymous sources.

Because it is not illegal to place a bet, anyone who made wagers with the ring will not be charged and it is unlikely their names will ever officially be released.

Meanwhile, Tocchet, who's charged with financing the ring, had is arraignment set for Feb. 21 in New Jersey.
 
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