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NHL: Suspension of Ducks owner Samueli is 'regrettable' [updated]

December 11, 2009 |  2:12 pm

Henry_240 NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman issued an interesting statement today in the wake of the dismissal of the guilty plea made by Ducks owner Henry Samueli in a stock options backdating investigation.

Bettman had suspended Samueli in June 2008 but reinstated him Nov. 12. Samueli's wife, Susan, had voluntarily stepped aside in support of her husband.

It almost sounds -- gasp -- like Bettman is admitting he was wrong.

NEW YORK (December 11, 2009) -- Following Wednesday’s (Dec. 9) ruling in U.S. District Court, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman issued the following statement:

“On December 9, 2009, U.S. District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney vacated the single charge that was pending against Dr. Henry Samueli, indicating that no law had been violated. We are delighted that the Samueli good name has now been cleared. In retrospect, it is regrettable and unfortunate that the circumstances at that time caused the Samuelis and the Anaheim Ducks to endure any suspension. We were pleased to welcome the Samuelis back to the NHL when the suspension was lifted this past November 12.”

Commissioner Bettman’s statement comes after U.S. District Court proceedings this week in Santa Ana,  where Carney stated that Henry Samueli "had not, in fact, made a materially false statement during his testimony before the SEC and therefore committed no crime."

[Updated at 2:35 p.m.: Here's a statement from Henry Samueli, courtesy of the Ducks:

I very much appreciate Commissioner Bettman’s comments and I fully understand and respect his difficult decision last summer. The past 18 months have been very stressful for me and my family and now that the truth has finally come out, I am extraordinarily pleased to be able to finally put this matter behind me. I want to thank my wife Susan for her unwavering support throughout this difficult process, and most importantly, I want to thank Judge Carney for his exceptional wisdom and insight in being able to sort through the very complex details of this case. Susan and I are very happy to be back and actively participating on the NHL Board of Governors and we look forward to another exciting Anaheim Ducks playoff run during the remainder of the season.]

More later at

-- Helene Elliott

Photo: Henry Samueli. Credit: Karen Tapia-Andersen / Los Angeles Times.