Minnesota Wild winger Thomas Vanek appeared voluntarily in a federal courthouse in upstate New York on Monday as part of an ongoing gambling investigation he is reportedly tied to, according to News 10 NBC in Rochester.
A law enforcement source told News 10 that the former Buffalo Sabres star is connected to the federal investigation involving Marina Restaurant and Bar in Charlotte. The owners of the restaurant and bar are facing 23 counts of illegal gambling, News 10 reports, but Vanek has not been charged with a crime.
He is reportedly not under any suspicion, and according to his agent Steve Bartlett, he appeared in court to serve as a witness in the case.
“Representatives of the U.S. Federal Government have asked for my cooperation in an investigation,” Vanek said in a statement issued by Bartlett. “I am not the subject of any investigation or prosecution. I will fully cooperate with the U.S. Federal authorities in their investigation or in any proceedings arising out of it.”
Vanek played one season for the AHL’s Rochester Americans in 2004-05 before playing eight seasons with Buffalo, located just an hour away. The 30-year-old was traded to the New York Islanders in the 2013-14 season before closing out the year with the Montreal Canadiens.
Vanek recently signed a three-year, $19.5 million contract with the Wild on July 1.