Ducks owner Henry Samueli doesn't hold grudge against Gary Bettman for 18-month suspension

Sports ownership draws some oddball characters, some of which aren’t always the most … ethical. For every outspoken but ultimately good-for-the-sport rich guy like Mark Cuban there’s an unfortunate case like former Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott.

Anaheim Ducks owner Henry Samueli seemed like he was firmly entrenched in that latter group when NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman suspended him for 18 months, but Samueli was eventually cleared of the felony charges that prompted his NHL hiatus. Some might hold a grudge for such an embarrassing reprimand, but Samueli told the OC Register that he retains a “great relationship” with Bettman after the ordeal.

With his nearly 18-month suspension from the NHL long behind him, Samueli said he bore no ill will toward Gary Bettman after the league commissioner called the punishment “regrettable” upon lifting it last November.

Bettman reversed field in light of Samueli being cleared of a felony criminal charge of lying to federal investigators in a probe into illegal backdating of stock options at Broadcom Corp., the computer chip-making company he co-founded.

“I fully understood his decision process,” Samueli said. “I have no second thoughts about that at all. The whole event, the way it transpired was as you saw how it did in the newspaper, was pretty bizarre.

“No, I fully understand the reasons why he made his decision.”

This could be a rocky transitional period for the Ducks. With Scott Niedermayer retiring, their blueline is now a barren wasteland compared to the group that won a Stanley Cup not so long ago. Though the team boasts a strong, youthful core with Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Bobby Ryan and Jonas Hiller, the depth positions are a little weak and quite old (don’t expect more than a season or two from aging Finns Saku Koivu and Teemu Selanne).

That being said, with Samueli pushing through a tough period and GM Bob Murray showing some solid managerial chops, the future looks pretty solid for the Ducks. I’m not sure if I’m too confident about the team’s chances for making a big impact in 10-11, but it’s not that preposterous in a more wide-open (but still quite competitive) Pacific Division.

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?