It would seem that Henry Samueli, owner of the Ducks and current employer of Chris Pronger – universally agreed to be cursed – is expected to plead guilty this week in a US Federal Court. Samueli, is expected to receive 5 years of probation, a payment of $12 million and a fine of $250,000 for backdating 2.2 billion dollars worth of stock options in 2002.
One could argue that backdating stock options – granting stock options to an employee with a date prior to when the options are granted – is both a boring and non-lethal crime to commit. But before you go blaming Samueli, or his incredibly awesome business partner Henry Nicholas III (accused of keeping warehouses full of drugs and even better things) let’s keep this all in perspective and remember one thing.
They are innocent.
The only crime Dr. Samueli has committed is the continued emploi of one Christopher “Dink” Pronger.
For those of you keeping score at home, the following bad things have befallen those who have employed Pronger:
1993 – Whalers draft Chris Pronger 2nd overall behind Alexandre Daigle. They then go on to miss the playoffs the next four straight years, and the franchise promptly moves upon the direction of a then 23 year old Pronger who states publicly “I want to say that though I was traded to St. Louis 2 years ago, I have asked out of respect for my family the team be moved to Carolina.” Then GM Jim Rutherford claimed “I wish we had drafted Daigle instead. He only turned out to be a colossal waste of talent. Our pick turned out to be cursed.”
1995 – Blues trade Brendan Shanahan for Chris Pronger. Blues will advance only as far as the Conference Finals during his reign of terror, which also includes the emergence of Nelly as a “rapper” – further destroying St. Louis culture.
1996 – Wayne Gretzky joins Pronger’s Blues and scores 37 points in 31 games, before losing to the Red Wings in the 2nd round of the Playoffs. Pronger plays with Gretzky, who later departs St. Louis to sign with the Rangers at the end of the one season. It is later revealed that it was Pronger who insisted that the Blues not resign Gretzky claiming “I am the real Great One, and out of respect for my family I ask that Gretzky be traded.” Gretzky will never go on to win another Stanley Cup, though he is the greatest player of all time. “I blame Pronger” he is later quoted as saying, while bathing in a tub of gold boullion.
2002 – Chris Pronger phones future owner of the Ducks Dr. Henry Samueli, demanding he backdate stock options for a Broadcast employee. Though he has no working knowledge of the company, and won’t become a Duck for another 4 years he insists “For the good of my family, I asked Dr. Samueli to backdate the stock options for a person I will never meet and I won’t get into it any further.”
2003 – During the season and into the summer, repeated attempts at creating a new collective bargaining agreement between the NHLPA and NHL owners are struck down by Pronger, who became NHLPA President during a bloody coup earlier in the year. NHLPA President Pronger claims “I respect the sanctity of these negotiations, but out of respect for my family, I have no choice but to cancel the 2004-05 NHL Season.”
2005 – While some may claim that Pronger signing a 5 year deal and leading the Oilers to the Cup Finals only to later depart from the team in a classless manner may have injured the Franchise. That is completely incorrect however as the Oilers have been the only club capable of counteracting the Curse of Pronger. You see that is because of
2006 – The Anaheim Ducks are forced to drop the word “Mighty” from their name upon the insistence of Pronger who declares “I am the sole Mighty thing on this team, and I won’t stand for anyone else comparing themselves to me, out of respect to my family.”
So before you go around telling anyone who will listen “that owner in Anaheim is just another in a long line of shady NHL owners who are ruining the sanctity of the league” just remember one thing.
It’s no one’s fault, but Chris Prongers Fault.