June 24, 2008

NHL Gary Bettman announced on Tuesday that Henry Samueli, the owner of the Anaheim Ducks, has been suspended indefinitely from any involvement with the team and the league.

Samueli pleaded guilty on Monday to one count of making a false statement to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Sentencing by the U.S. Federal District Court has been set for August 18. Samueli's status will be reviewed by the league after he is sentenced and the duration of his suspension as well as any other disciplinary action will be determined.

Samueli may not be involved in team matters or activities during the duration of his suspension. Alternate governor Michael Schulman will be responsible for managing the Ducks' operations and reporting to the Commissioner.

"While Mr. Samueli has been an exemplary owner, we hold NHL personnel to the highest standards and this plea requires the imposition of discipline under League rules," Commissioner Bettman said in a statement.

Mrs. Susan Samueli, co-owner of the Ducks, has advised the NHL that, in support of her husband and to avoid any possible improper appearance, she intends to abide by the terms of her husband's suspension.

Samueli's suspension is the latest in a line of NHL ownership scandals that have included John Rigas in Buffalo, John Spano on Long Island, and Bruce McNall in Los Angeles. William "Boots" Del Biaggio III of the Nashville Predators is under investigation for allegedly obtaining fraudulent loans, and the NHL is currently seeking to oust the ownership of the New York Rangers for filing an anti-trust suit against the league.

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