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Distraught looking Peter Pocklington runs from cameras when released from jail

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A distraught looking Peter Pocklington was released from a California jail early Saturday morning, just hours after New York Rangers general manager Glen Sather paid his bail of US$1 million.

"Get the hell out of here," a red-faced Pocklington barked at news cameras as he ran for a waiting car.

A reporter yelled after the former owner of the Edmonton Oilers, asking him if he had anything nice to say about Sather.

"He's a wonderful guy," Pocklington responded before slamming the car's door shut.

Later, Pocklington had little to say when phoned by a reporter, only that "talking to the press doesn't help me or anybody else ... It doesn't matter anymore - I'm just in a battle with bad people."

Pocklington is scheduled for trial May 5 on two charges of bankruptcy fraud.

Sather, who was the head coach of the Oilers when Pocklington owned the team, came through for his friend by putting up a property he owns in Minnesota.

Sam Abouhassan, an Edmonton clothier who used to do business with Pocklington, said he wasn't surprised by Sather's support for his former boss.

"I know that Glen is not happy about what Peter has done," said Abouhassan. "But you can't erase all the memories and all the good times you had together. Glen stepped up to the plate. I'm very proud of him."

Thom Mrozek, a public affairs officer for the U.S. Attorney's Office, has said Pocklington will be subject to house arrest and will have to wearing an electronic monitoring device.

Pocklington, 67, had been in custody since Wednesday, when FBI agents arrested him at his condo in nearby Palm Desert. He was hauled into court in shackles and pleaded not guilty to both counts.

If convicted, he would face a maximum 10-year sentence in federal prison.

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