UHL team cancels season after mob indictment

Updated: June 13, 2006, 1:27 PM ET
Associated Press

DANBURY, Conn. -- The Danbury Trashers, whose owner was charged in a federal Mafia indictment, will not compete in the United Hockey League next season.

Team owner James Galante was arrested Friday on charges of racketeering, extortion, witness tampering and circumventing the league's salary cap. Prosecutors say he overpaid players and their wives with money from his mob-connected garbage companies.

The United Hockey League on Monday did not indicate whether the team intends to regroup for the 2007-08 season. The minor league team's players are expected to be dispersed in a draft later this week.

Galante is in prison awaiting trial and his family's bank accounts have been frozen. Federal marshals are working out of the building where the Trashers and Galante's garbage companies were based.

Federal authorities said some hockey players and their wives had no-show jobs with Galante's garbage companies, allowing him to pump $750,000 into salaries when the team's cap was about $250,000.

Prosecutors said Galante paid $30,000 every three months to reputed Genovese crime family boss Matthew "Matty the Horse" Ianniello for mob muscle to maintain his company's dominance.

The Trashers lost in the league finals to the Kalamazoo Wings last month.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press