Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals: 35
The Stanley Cup Journal

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Long before they purchased the Mighty Ducks franchise in June 2005, Henry and Susan Samueli were heroes in many other arenas.

Born in Buffalo, New York, Henry Samueli was raised in West Los Angeles. Studying electrical engineering at UCLA, Henry earned his doctorate in 1980, graduating to a position in the defense industry. Since 1985, Dr. Samueli has been a professor at UCLA, although on a leave of absence since 1995. But Henry has juggled other responsibilities, too, publishing over a hundred technical papers and owning 36 patents for new products.

In 1991, Samueli co-founded Broadcom Corporation, a communications semiconductor company that enables the delivery of voice, video, data and multimedia to and throughout the home, the office and to mobile devices. Currently serving as the company's Chairman of the Board and Chief Technical Officer, Samueli's company enjoyed revenues of $3.7 billion in 2006 while employing 5,200 employees around the world.

Anaheim Ducks owner Henry Samueli and his daughter gather on a cliff in the family's backyard that overlooks the majestic Pacific Ocean.
(Mike Bolt/HHOF)
Los Angeles-born Susan Samueli met Henry at a temple dance in the San Fernando Valley in the late-1970's. She was employed by IBM in various capacities until 1985, when she left that environment to become a full-time Mom and, after discovering her children suffered from various allergies, explored an interest in alternative health care. Since then, Susan has earned her Ph.D in nutrition and a diploma in homeopathy.

The couple moved to Orange County in 1995 and became entrenched in the community. Their benevolent efforts have become legendary, but for the purposes of the Stanley Cup Journal, we'll focus specifically on their purchase of Arrowhead Pond in 2003 (since re-named the Honda Center) and in June 2005, the purchase of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks (since re-named simply the Ducks).

It was almost as if the couple had the Midas touch. In December 2005, the Honda Center was named the third highest grossing arena in the world for event ticket sales. In June 2007, of course, the Anaheim Ducks won the Stanley Cup. The Samuelis are being rewarded for their hard work and clever investments. In fact, in March 2007, Henry and Susan were awarded stars on the Anaheim Walk of Fame.

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Henry Samueli tours the Stanley Cup around his music room. (Mike Bolt/HHOF)
The Stanley Cup arrived at the incredible Orange County home of the Samueli family on Saturday, September 8. If you think that owners are unemotional business people simply focused on the bottom line, you're wrong when it comes to the Samuelis. Both Henry and Susan, along with their children, were every bit as excited as any player, trainer or scout (perhaps more!). No doubt, these are fans first and foremost.

The Samuelis carried the Stanley Cup into the most magnificent backyard in southern California. Positioned on a beachside cliff overlooking the mighty Pacific, it's arguable that the Stanley Cup may never have had a backdrop so extraordinary. Wow!

Yes, captains of industry can be hockey fans but so too can they love their music. With Metallica's 'Enter Sandman' blasting from an incredible sound system, Henry proudly showed off his music room. There, amidst memorabilia from rockers like Led Zeppelin sat the Stanley Cup. Howie Morenz would have been listening to 'Puttin' on the Ritz' by Harry Richman when he won the Stanley Cup in 1930. Dave Keon would have enjoyed Lulu's 'To Sir With Love' when the Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup in 1967. As for the Samuelis in 2007, it's rock -- and the harder the better!

Henry Samueli proudly hoists the Stanley Cup atop a large stone wall that reads "The Henry Samueli School of Engineering" at the University of California.
(Mike Bolt/HHOF)
Through the afternoon, Henry and Susan took the Cup to various spots in celebration — the Samueli Theater at the Orange County Performing Arts Center and the Samueli School of Engineering at the University of California, Irvine, to name but two.

While on the campus, a young lady spotted the Stanley Cup and bolted over. "Oh my gawd," she exclaimed. "Is this the real Stanley Cup?" Henry nodded, "Yes, it's the real deal." Puzzled, the student furrowed her brow and asked, "Are you one of the Ducks?" Henry laughed and replied, "Well, no. But I own the team." The girl squinted and became incredulous. "You…you…you're Henry Samueli!! Oh my gawd!! I go to your engineering school!!"

Henry blushed, but immediately got himself tagged with a nickname by Susan. "Hey, C.M.," she'd laugh throughout the afternoon. "Chick magnet!"

The Samueli family groups together for a classic family photo on the wing of their private jet with the Stanley Cup. (Mike Bolt/HHOF)
The couple visited a few other sites, including their temple, one to which they have offered incredibly generous gifts. Henry is the son of Holocaust survivors, and has never forgotten the atrocities witnessed by his parents, their families and friends. The philanthropy of the Samuelis has extended from education to health, from the arts to their faith. "It goes back to my parents," Henry mentions. "They were nearly eradicated in the Holocaust, and this was a way to maybe make up for that by creating a permanence of Judaism in society."

That evening, Henry and Samueli hosted an outstanding party for guests affiliated with Broadcom.

* * *

On Sunday, the couple's daughter, baked chocolate chip cookies and placed them in the gaping bowl of the Cup. It's a tradition she began during the playoffs, bringing freshly-baked cookies to the team, who gobbled them down and credited the cookies with their championship record through the post-season.

Henry and Susan Samueli pose next to their star on the "Anaheim Walk of Stars" that reads "Henry & Susan Samueli, Owners - Anaheim Ducks." (Mike Bolt/HHOF)
Susan decided to take hockey's big prize for a ride. With the top of her convertible down, her hair blowing in the breeze and the Cup strapped into the passenger's side beside her, she pulled onto the legendary Pacific Coast Highway, and decided to surprise her daughter in Newport Beach. Along the way, Susan stopped into the original Shake Shack.

After arriving at her daughter's home, Susan had some sunset pictures taken of the Stanley Cup in Newport Beach. Then, it was back to the Corona Del Mar mansion for another Stanley Cup party, this time for family and friends. Henry credits much of the family's stability to Susan. "Without her support, I never could have achieved what I have done," he beams. "It's been a huge sacrifice on the family and Susan has had to pick up the slack. I'm very thankful to her for that!"

The Samuelis carried on their celebration well into the night; a celebration, by the way, that was very well earned.

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Join the Stanley Cup Journal on Friday as we discover a little more about this Stanley guy who donated the Cup to hockey back in 1893.

Kevin Shea is one of the contributors to 'Travels With Stanley' by The Keepers of the Cup, a book of geography and history lessons taught through the travels of the Stanley Cup (Fenn Publishing).

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