Pronger Curse continues in Anaheim, Ducks owner to plead guilty


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

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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.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    The biggest curse of all is having to read, yet again about the the life and times of Pronged-her, (I hear she never felt a thing). I would rather hear RB blather on about how everything is peachy in Oilerland. By the way where is the proprietor of the biggest Koolaid stand in Oilertown?

  • I'm a Scientist!

    fyvmvv: You have mistaken me for somebody else.
    As long as the line of people who accuse me of being an Oiler butt-kisser is about the same length as the one filled with those who think I rip them every chance I get, it's all good.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    RB – Come on, I'm just joshing you. I find myself reacting to the unbroken line of thought by many contributors to this site who cannot bring themselves to see any deficiencies in Lowe/MacT. The ironic thing to me is how we are all presumably Oiler fans and want the organization to succeed.

    I don't know what you think of Joanne Irland but she asked Lowe if he thought GM's were reluctant to deal with him because of the offer-sheet to Pennner etc. I haven't heard any other reporter ask such a direct question to Lowe or MacT. It appeared to me she at least came close to a rather raw nerve.

    Needless to say Lowe did not answer the question and let the rest pass. He got rather testy towards her for asking the question and then he must have thought better of it and backed off.

    It was the video interview done on the draft floor after the draft and it was towards the end of his comments. It can be seen on the Oiler site. I can't help but think maybe that that may be the case with at least some NHL GM's. Last years RFA schmozzle is not Lowe's first public skirmish with either an agent or player. How is his reputation generally?

    George Laracque made reference to this situation in one of his comments on Stauffers show last summer I believe. He basically said he was getting asked by players in the east about what was going on in Edmonton.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    Fyvmvv: You've "joshed" me now in a couple of consecutive posts — this one and the the one suggesting I wanted to get on MacT's Facebook page in the Ghosts of Christmas Drafts past item. I don't appreciate it.

    When I said I'd withhold comment until you clarified the Facebook remark — I didn't want to go off on you in case you actually where kidding — you never did reply and address it.

    And, no, it's not about being thin-skinned or not being able to take it even though I sometimes dish it out. I do this for fun and because the ON guys thought enough of me to ask me aboard. I'm a writer. It's what I do. I don't consider humour along the lines of "Brownlee is an Oiler fluffer" even remotely funny.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    RB – My, aren't we sensitive. I have been out of the ocuntry on holiday and hadn't seen your comment about the facebook remark by me and that is why I didn't respond. The fact of the matter is you are a virtual knee-jerk Lowe/Mact defender and won't tolerate any criticism of their moves and long history of not getting the job done. Most of Edmonton's sports media are soft on the Oilers.

    My comments stand and unless and until you show some modicum of objectivity on the matter your opinion isn't any more credible than anyone else's.

    By the way I was kidding you. I find your hyper-sensitive ego to be a bit of a shocker given your penchant for your sarcastic and acidic responses to many posts.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    fyvmvv: Don't mistake my being stunned at your ignorance for being sensitive. Don't mistake the frustration I sometimes feel reading misleading or erroneous comments about myself from people who think they know more than they do — like you — with being thin-skinned.

    Your comments stand? Your comments are laughable and without any basis in fact.

    A "virtual knee-jerk Lowe/MacT defender and won't tolerate any criticism of their moves . . ."
    You have written many things that lead me to believe you either aren't very smart or aren't paying attention — maybe both.
    Either way, you clearly haven't followed or grasped my take on many of their decisions and moves over the past eight years because I've been accused by many people of ripping Lowe and MacT no matter what they do.

    I'd cite some, but if you haven't had a clue until now, my wasting time pointing out other posts or linking to old stories is a waste of my time.

    By the way, this isn't a debate. You;re done.