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Pure as the ice they play on? Don't bet on it!

Articles are flowing fast and furious proclaiming the great fortune of Gary Bettman to be at the helm of the NHL, rather than one of the pro sports that seem to be wrapped up in talk of steroids, gambling, or abominable cruelty.

Before we hockey fans feel too content about our sport's innate purity, recall that the NHL has had its scandals, too. As always, Joe Pelletier's Legends of Hockey provides historical context for all of us. (Fittingly enough, this was passed along to me while watching High Roller - The Stu Ungar Story). Corrupt officials, players leaking information to gambling interests, etc., all lie in the NHL's past. You have to love the story of Boston Bruin Don Gallinger, however; for in the middle of an illicit operation his competitive instincts still came through:
Investigations found Gallinger betting as much as $1000 on games involving the Bruins. Strangely enough, his $1000 bet was on a game against Chicago where he expected the Blackhawks to win. Boston would win that game, with Gallinger scoring the very important tying goal.
As is the case with Joe, I've taken an endorsement from BetUS.com, an offshore sports book, and would caution any of you to enjoy such pursuits as entertainment within the bounds of common sense. Gambling is just one of many endeavors that can take a powerfully addictive turn, and if you find yourself betting on games because you actually need the money, or know a friend or family member heading down that road, by all means get some help ASAP.

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