Friday, February 20, 2009

Habs' Hamrlik, Kostitsyn bros. linked to drug trafficking; centennial season become

(Updated, 5:30 p.m., Feb. 20.)

The Habs' centennial season has become open season; it's just matter of how big the window.

The rumours are flying fast and furious. Having two Russian players, Andrei and Sergei Kostitsyn, being accused of being "mobbed up" is the burning flame that draws the media moths. It goes without saying. The Canadiens, as Pierre LeBrun noted today, are followed in a way unlike that no other team in the NHL, maybe all of North American sports ("You don't trade priests," as Guy Lafleur once said).

At this point, little is known other than a pair of young jocks were hanging out an alleged criminal. It can't be shrugged off, but nothing happens in a vacuum.

Montréal is the organized crime capital of Canada. It has been a town where a character such as Pasquale Mangiola can draw a lot of water. Nothing which has happened since Nov. 15, 1976 has done anything to work against that. It's a more rough-hewn place than anywhere else in Canada, but it's also more alive, more vital than other cities whose names start T and rhyme with oronto.

It has its good and its bad. It's impossible to imagine someone from Toronto having the same meteoric rise as Georges St. Pierre and being worshiped the way GSP is in his home city and province. He embodies that flinty Montréal toughness.

It has a rough edge, though, personified more or less by bad dudes such as Mangiola. It's not really surprising it would eventually get mixed up with the mystigue of Les Canadiens.

(Alex Kovalev is back at practice, but that is more a hockey decision, since the Habs really cannot trade him.)

Original post, overnight on Feb. 20

It appears that the NHL is about to get hit with one its biggest scandals in history.

La Presse is reporting that three Habs, Roman Hamrlik and brothers Andrei and Sergei Kostitsyn will named in connection to a network of drug trafficking. Although it's unclear whether they will be arrested, police need to speak to the players.

All three have been taped and filmed associating with a man arrested for gang activities earlier this month.

Scandale des Canadiens: Les frères Kostitsyn et Hamrlik auraient de mauvaises fréquentations
Canadiens scandal rumours abound (From The Rink)


Anonymous said...

First there was the Kovalev situation and now this....oh, those Russians!

Anonymous said...

Great - the Russian mob is infiltrating the NHL. Before you know it, NHL will show up as a story line in Law & Order.

Sportsdump said...

this won't be the first time the Russian mob was involved with NHL players... I recall stories from the mid 90's of a superstar named Pavel Bure and "the roof"

Dennis Prouse said...

Obviously I don't know any of the details, but my guess would be that this is simply a case of these guys not choosing their friends very well. It happens less often in hockey than in other pro sports, but clearly these guys are going to be magnets for people with less than noble intentions, and the fact that they were fellow Russians gave them an instant connection.

DR said...

Is it the Russian mob or (Bela)Russian players and (allegedly) the mob?

Jordie Dwyer said...

ONLY in Montreal....

This isn't really news - more of a case of having the wrong type of friend...Heck, if that were a crime you'd have to arrest the entire roster of the Blue Jays simply because they are associated with those crooks - Rogers...

Anonymous said...

You can not compare this to rogers.

sager said...

Remember when the most embarrassing thing in Habs-land was their fans rigging the All-Star Game voting?

That was a more innocent time, 2008.

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