Update, 5:12 p.m.:
One interesting angle to keep an eye on is how the NHL/Rangers will react when they find out one of their players is being sponsored by a foreign gambling company. Can't imagine this will go over too well with Bettman or the Dolans.
...Foxwoods is going to be pissed!!!!
H/T to reader sureshore for bringing this up.
According to Norwegian website Nettavisen, Matts Zuccarello is in jeopardy of being kicked off the Norwegian National team due to his newest sponsorship with betting company Unibet.
Apparently, the Norwegian Ice Hockey Federation is financed by the state owned betting company called Norsk Tipping and Zuccarello's new agreement is causing a conflict.
The Federation says they warned Zuccarello of the consequences of signing such a deal with Unibet.
Zuccarello's manager Kevin Skabo disagrees saying dismissal was never brought up when the two sides discussed the possible Zuccarello/Unibet sponsorship earlier this year...
"They also said that they were grateful that we went to them first. We received no specific threats of expulsion, then, it can not remember. But it has always hung in the air over threats athletes in such situations."
Both sides would like to work this out but will wait until Zuccarello's season with the Rangers is over.
If the Rangers would have been swept by the Capitals there could have been a chance he played for the World Cup team if the Federation allowed.
...looks like the Dolans aren't the only greedy ones in the sport of hockey. Disgusting how this can happen with a national team. This is very similar to the 1992 USA Olympic Basketball Dream Team when Team USA was sponsored by Reebok, but players like Michael Jordan had their own sponsorship with Nike. That issue worked itself out and I'm sure this will to.
...especially when Zuccarello is so popular in Norway. Can you imagine the uproar if he's kicked off the National team and isn't allowed to play in the 2014 Olympics? Ultimately, I think the public pressure will be too much and the Federation will fold.
...to be honest I couldn't care less as long as it doesn't affect his play for the Rangers.
For more on this situation, click here.
I don't see why a hockey player can't have a personal sponsorship. Ok it's a gambling company but Unibet has a pretty good reputation. It's not like they gamble on hockey games right?
Btw the expression is "I couldn't care less". If you say "I could care less" it means you do care!
greetings from Belgium ;)
shoeless matts? shoeless zuccarello-assen? nahh.
i'm sure this isnt news to the rangers organization in this day and age.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeTkJ5bCn-A . Here is the commercial that is causing the conflict.
doesn't bother me one bit. clearly Mats loves being a ranger and he gives it his all every night, so why should we care? not like NHL will see it that way however............
Coming from the league that moved its Awards Ceremony to Vegas, would be a little hypocritical of the NHL to tell players they aren't allowed to go and try to make a buck from a company that profits from gambling. As long as they can't prove that Zucc is betting on NHL games, they should keep to themselves.
Frankly, I'm surprised that an NHL player can have affiliation with sports betting companies. Pete Rose, Art Schlichter, Tim Donaghy - seems each of the other major sports are pretty strict with gambling and have tight rules to regulate it. This seems pretty out in the open. Is it me or am I missing something?
@ForEachNYR Man I have a tough time grammatically on this post. I think I need an editor.
@IcyCup2 Good to see you were able to sign into comments section. Did you have to create a new account?
@Pbaekken Thanks for posting!
That's exactly what I was thinking! That's a slippery slope. It's one thing to have your arena sponsored by a casino or something. But and online betting organization!? Kinda stinks to me for both Mats and Norway.
@sureshore Actually, I never even thought of that. If/when this does get back to the Rangers/NHL it'll likely be a problem.
@mrichter Jesus, that's terrible. Thanks.
yeah, new account. thanks so much for your help. missed chirping in here over the last several days. just moved to bergen county and someone recognized the boogaard charity shirt. kinda cool.
@KevinDeLury he was maybe a freshman in high school too.
@IcyCup2 That's awesome!
If he ever shaved points I'd kill him. I don't think this is much of a possibility with such a small (excuse the pun) part of the team. If a teams goalie was involved with an organization I think it would be a huge story. But still I don't like it.