Anaheim Ducks owner Henry Samueli suspended

The NHL indefinitely suspended Anaheim Ducks owner Henry Samueli on Tuesday following the billionaire philanthropist’s guilty plea to a felony count of lying to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Commissioner Gary Bettman said the NHL will review Samueli’s status after he is sentenced on Aug. 18 and determine the length of his suspension.

Samueli, the co-founder of the chipmaker Broadcom Corp., entered the guilty plea in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana on Monday after a federal probe into illegal stock option backdating at Broadcom. Federal prosecutors have recommended a sentence of five years’ probation and a $12.2 million fine.

During his suspension, Samueli can’t be involved in Ducks matters or activities. Chief executive officer Michael Schulman will be responsible for the club’s day-to-day operations.

“I respect the decision made by Commissioner Bettman and will abide by the terms of the suspension,” Samueli said in a statement released by the Ducks. “I’m confident the team will be in great hands in my absence.”

Samueli’s wife, Susan, said she would relinquish her role as co-owner to “avoid any improper appearance.”

Lightning name Melrose coach: When the Tampa Bay Lightning called, Barry Melrose was eager to listen.

Out of coaching for 13 years, he missed the passion and competition of the NHL. Countless hours of watching games as a television analyst intensified his desire to return to the bench, and it didn’t hurt that he’d be able to work with talent like Vincent Lecavalier and Steve Stamkos.

“They approached me. I couldn’t wait to say yes,” Melrose said after the Lightning’s new owners made the league’s worst-kept secret official: the former Los Angeles Kings coach was the choice to replace John Tortorella.

Two of Melrose’s assistants will be former Wild star Wes Walz and Rick Tocchet. The Lightning are pursuing a third.

Melrose estimates he watched about 90 percent of Tampa Bay’s games on TV last season. What he saw was a team that lost its zest under the hard-driving Tortorella, who led the club to its only Stanley Cup title four years ago.

The Lightning not only missed the playoffs for the first time since 2002, they finished last in the NHL with a league-worst 31-42-9 record.

Melrose coached Los Angeles from 1992-95. In his first season, he helped the Wayne Gretzky-led Kings to the Stanley Cup Finals, where they lost to the Montreal Canadiens. He spent the past 12 years at ESPN.

Briefly: The NHL has opened negotiations with a new Russian-based professional hockey league to establish a temporary agreement to prevent either league from signing players under contract.

But until such a deal is reached, Continental Hockey League founder Alexander Medvedev said he has no problem with his teams using lucrative offers in an attempt to poach NHL stars.

Boston signed defenseman Mark Stuart of Rochester, Minn., who played every game for the team last season, to a multiyear extension. Terms of the deal were not released. Carolina re-signed forward Tuomo Ruutu to a one-year contract worth $2.25 million. Toronto general manager Cliff Fletcher informed Darcy Tucker that the Maple Leafs plan to buy out the forward’s contract. The team also placed forward Kyle Wellwood and goalie Andrew Raycroft on waivers.

Philadelphia acquired defenseman Janne Niskala from Nashville for forward Triston Grant and a seventh-round pick in the 2009 draft.

Colorado signed Scott Parker to a one-year deal and former Colorado College standout Marty Sertich to a multiyear contract.

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