NHL notebook: Bryan Berard helps feds nail alleged con men

Bryan Berard estimates he lost between $3 million and $6 million in forged lines of credits,...

Bryan Berard estimates he lost between $3 million and $6 million in forged lines of credits, worthless real estate deals and bad investments. (QMI Agency/Files)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:10 AM ET

With the aid of former NHLer Bryan Berard, U.S. federal agents charged two men with 10 counts of conspiring to steal upwards of $15 million from NHL players and cops.

FBI and IRS agents in Arizona arrested Phil Kenner and Tommy Constantine Wednesday on multiple charges, including wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy.

According to the New York Daily News, victims of the alleged fraud include Berard, Michael Peca, Jere Lehtinen, Dimitri Khristich, Mattias Norstrom, Jozef Stumpel, Greg Murray, Jason Wooley and a handful of Long Island police officers.

“I feel like I can finally close a chapter in my life. It’s been a tough four years finding out a friend/business manager had stolen from me after I retired from the NHL,” Berard said.

The former first overall draft pick estimates he lost between $3 million and $6 million in forged lines of credits, worthless real estate deals and bad investments.

“I never made any money from any of it. Now, I can now move on to my next career knowing he will be held responsible for what he’s done.”

The scope of the fraud is still under investigation. Berard believes up to $80 million was stolen.

The alleged fraud left some players broke and funded a lifestyle of private planes and luxury homes in crimes that stretched from Canada to Mexico.

NASH PRACTISES

Rick Nash joined his New York Rangers teammates on the ice for the first time in over a month Wednesday and the results exceeded expectations.

“I felt pretty good actually, better than I thought I would feel,” he told the Bergen Record. “I kept up but there’s still some work that needs to be done.”

Nash has been out of the lineup since suffering a concussion Oct. 8.

“It was a really encouraging day,” coach Alain Vigneault said. “I’m anxious to see how he’s going respond, how he’s going to feel tomorrow. I’m hoping all he’s going to feel is a little bit of soreness.”

Nash has yet to be cleared for contact. The team isn’t taking chances and plans to ease him back into taking battle drills.

“It’s only been one practice on the ice with the team so we’ll see how the next couple of days goes and we’ll take it from there,” Vigneault said.

HEJDUK HANGING ‘EM UP

Milan Hejduk is set to hang up his skates.

The former Colorado Avalanche winger told Czech publication iSport he made the decision to retire a while ago but decided to hold off making an official announcement at his agent’s request.

He also admitted that age has caught up with him and that he would have preferred to go out with a bang instead of finishing second-worst in the standings with the Avs last season.

“The ideal would be the end to win the Stanley Cup,” Hejduk said. “Last year I played, I was too old. My God. Sometimes I had to stop. But absolutely nothing I miss.”

Hejduk, who spent his entire NHL career in Colorado, joined the Avs in 1998. He won the Stanley Cup with the club in 2001 and took home the Rocket Richard Trophy in 2002-03 after scoring 50 goals.

In 1,020 career games, the three-time all-star scored 375 goals and 430 assists.

PREDS, DUCKS TALK HILLER?

The Nashville Predators have had trade discussions regarding goaltender Jonas Hiller, according to TSN.

Nashville is desperate for help in net as Pekka Rinne is out indefinitely following off-season hip surgery that resulted in an infection developing in October.

Anaheim is stocked when it comes to netminders. After Hiller on the depth chart are highly-touted Viktor Fasth and Frederik Andersen.

Carter Hutton has struggled in place of Rinne, but the Preds want to wait and see how their starter’s health progresses before getting serious about a trade.

AVERY SCORES

Former NHL superpest Sean Avery has scored a huge catch.

According to the New York Post’s Page Six, Avery is engaged to Victoria Secret model Hilary Rhoda.

The pair had been dating on and off for three years before reconciling in May after months of separation.

Avery has been working in the fashion industry and as an advocate for gay rights since retiring from hockey following the 2011-12 NHL season.

BRIEFLY

Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick was sent home with a lower-body injury and the team called up Martin Jones from AHL Manchester to join the team for their eastern road trip. The Kings also placed Matt Greene and Kyle Clifford on injured reserve ... Washington Capitals defenceman Mike Green sat out practice Wednesday with a lower-body injury and is questionable for Friday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings, according to CSN Washington ... Montreal Canadiens defenceman Greg Pateryn and forward Gabriel Dumont were demoted to AHL Hamilton ... Vancouver Canucks forward David Booth was recalled from his conditioning assignment with AHL Utica and Darren Archibald was sent down.

- with files from The Sports Xchange


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