Bad buck streak for Flames star

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:06 AM ET

Citing $6.2 million in debts in filed documents, popular Calgary Flames forward Darren McCarty has declared bankruptcy in U.S. courts.

Included in his debts is $185,000 US owed to casinos in Detroit and Las Vegas, but the rugged right winger adamantly stated none of those debts is due to betting on hockey.

"The only thing I'm going to make a point to say is that I want everybody to know that as far as the gambling debts on there, not one cent was any type of sports betting," said McCarty, who made a statement yesterday, but refused to answer questions.

McCarty, whose salary peaked at $2.25 million US in the 2003-04 season when he was with the Detroit Red Wings, has a list of creditors that includes several banks, credit card companies, friends and law firms.

"Obviously this is something I've been dealing with for the past year and it's something that's obviously a bit of an embarrassing situation," said McCarty, whose salary this season is $800,000 US. "But as things always are, there's more to it than what it seems."

In his 12th NHL season, McCarty lists $1.9 million US in assets.

Marty Fried, McCarty's lawyer, said the financial woes were caused by the NHL lockout, his divorce that was finalized in February 2005 and a smaller contract with the Flames.

"He's not making the money he used to make," Fried told the Detroit Free Press.

McCarty's situation was met with support by his teammates.

Defenceman Andrew Ference said the turn of events won't pose a distraction with the playoffs so close.

"It's probably not the best thing for him to be thinking about day in and day out but it's his life," Ference said. "He can talk about it right freely with us. It's like being right there for a buddy."

Flames president Ken King said the team knew of McCarty's financial troubles before signing him last summer.

"He's very open and candid about issues that he faces. And that's what we would expect," King said.

"It's difficult to support somebody if you don't know what's going on and Darren has been very open and honest."

He vowed the bankruptcy won't affect his play in the stretch drive and playoffs.

"It's something I'm continuing to deal with right now, but my focus is first place and the playoffs. It'll work itself out the way it's supposed to," he said.

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McCARTY CREDITORS

* DMA Holdings $2 million

* Huntington Nat'l. Bank $1.5 million

* John Andrews $649,400

* John Matouk $234,288

* Bellagio Casino $100,000

* Palms Casino $60,000

* MBNA America $35,322

* Jeff Beckett $30,000

* Law firm of John Schaefer $28,000

* MotorCity Casino $25,000

* Chase Card Services $24,415

* American Express $18,774

* Chase $13,538.98

* Law firm of Seyburn Kahn $8,270

* Capital One Services $4,940

* J.D. Candler Roofing $3,177

* US Bank $2,639

* Exxon $1,089

* Amex $902

* DirecTV $537


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