The name of former Buffalo Sabre Thomas Vanek reportedly was found in wagering records associated with an inquiry by federal officials into a gambling ring in suburban Rochester.
According to the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, sources said Vanek was asked to aid in the investigation of Paul Borrelli and Mark and Joseph Ruff, who were arrested by the FBI in June. The three men had connections to the Marina Restaurant and Bar in Charlotte, while lawyers for Borrelli and Joseph Ruff say they had no role in the gambling operation.
No individual has been charged for illegal gambling in the probe. It can be a misdemeanor crime, but the action is rarely prosecuted.
Meanwhile, Nathan Paetsch – another ex-Sabre – said in 2013 that he was involved in a partnership with the owners of the restaurant. The newspaper said public records do not mention Paetsch as a current owner of the restaurant.
Paetsch was a seventh-round draft pick of the Sabres in 2003 and played 157 games for Buffalo. He was traded to Columbus in March 2010.
Vanek was traded to the New York Islanders last year, and he also played with the Montreal Canadiens before he signed this month as a free agent with the Minnesota Wild. He and Paetsch were teammates for the Rochester Amerks in 2004-05, and with the Sabres between 2006 and 2010.
On Monday after an appearance in Rochester federal court building, Vanek issued a statement that he was asked to cooperate with an investigation.
Law enforcement officials and NHL administrators have declined to comment on the matter.