Cliff Viner named sole managing partner of Florida Panthers

The Panthers have decided to play some more executive office shuffleboard today and have cleared up the delegation of power amongst ownership. Today, the team announced that Cliff Viner becomes the General Partner, Chairman & CEO of the franchise.

Viner had occupied the role of Chairman and Co-General Partner with Stu Siegel since Nov. 2009, but Siegel will now return to his former role as Limited Partner, remain as Chairman of the Florida Panthers Foundation and assume the role of NHL Alternate Governor, while also focusing on other business opportunities.

“First of all I would like to thank Stu for his contributions in reshaping the business strategy of SSE during the recent transition period,” Viner said. “As Stu turns his focus to other business opportunities, I am confident that the decisions we have made over the last eight months have put us in position to reach our goals and achieve success. With General Manager Dale Tallon leading our franchise, and President & COO Michael Yormark at the helm of our business operations and entertainment offerings, I am extremely excited about the future of this organization.”

Since November 2009, Viner has led a major organizational shift that includes the hiring of renowned General Manager Dale Tallon, reengagement of the Panthers history through the Den of Honor and alumni involvement, a focus on “Accountability, Accessibility and Winning Culture”, and the unveiling of SSE’s Pledge and Contract With The Community.

With Dale Tallon now the general manager of the team, the shuffling of deck chairs on what was starting to resemble the Titanic might be complete and the ship might not actually sink. There’s intriguing youth on the Panthers with David Booth, Michael Frolik and Stephen Weiss. Add in Erik Gudbranson along the blue line and, hey look, there’s a useful, youthful core of players to build around. With Tallon’s smarts and eye for talent, perhaps the team from Sunrise, Florida is headed in the right direction.

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    NHLPA hire Bruce Meyer brings a ‘wealth of knowledge,’ says Fehr

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    Bruce Meyer’s résumé of victories as a lawyer is a long and impressive one, and he has now joined the NHL Players’ Association as a senior director of collective bargaining, policy and legal, the union announced Thursday.

    During his tenure of more than 25 years at the law firm Weil, Gotshal and Manges LLP, Meyer represented the NHLPA, NFLPA and NBPA.

    The NHLPA said in a statement that in his new position, Meyer “will focus on a wide array of policy and legal issues.”

    In working for those unions, he was involved in matters such as collective bargaining and arbitration, as per his online profile.

    “Bruce will be a great addition to the NHLPA’s staff. He brings a wealth of knowledge to this new role coming from his law firm where he gained three decades’ worth of valuable experience, including effectively representing the NHLPA and other Players’ Associations as outside counsel,” said NHLPA executive director Don Fehr in a statement.

    The NHLPA said Meyer will begin at his new position in mid-August.

    The news of this hire comes more than a month after the league sued the NHLPA after Dennis Wideman‘s 20-game suspension for hitting linesman Don Henderson was reduced to 10 games by a neutral arbitrator.

    Related: Report: NHL dismisses neutral arbitrator who reduced Wideman’s suspension

    Sweet ride: Blackhawks sponsor CJ Wilson Racing’s Porsche Cayman at Road America

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    Chicago Blackhawks fans, start your engines!

    Yes, according to MotorSportsTalk, the Blackhawks have become the main sponsor of CJ Wilson Racing’s No. 35 car, a Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport, for the upcoming IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge event at Road America next month.

    That’s a sweet ride.

    From MotorSportsTalk:

    The partnership will officially launch at the United Center on Wednesday, August 3, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m in advance of Saturday’s race. Fans will have the opportunity to get up close to the car, meet the drivers and Blackhawks Ambassador Denis Savard, and have their picture taken.

    The race takes place Aug. 6 at Road America in Wisconsin.

    Third team’s the charm? Devils ink Gormley to one-year, two-way deal

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    Since being selected by the Coyotes at 13th overall in the 2010 NHL Draft, Brandon Gormley has had a difficult time breaking into the league on a full-time basis.

    On Thursday, the 24-year-old Gormley joined his third NHL team, signing with the New Jersey Devils on a one-year, two-way deal worth $650,000 at the NHL level, the club announced.

    Despite his draft status, Gormley has yet to play a full season in the big league, although this deal could give him an opportunity to end that. For the Devils, the deal adds more depth to the blue line in the organization and for a friendly price.

    Last season, Gormley split time between the Colorado Avalanche and its farm team, the San Antonio Rampage. Despite some high expectations about where he could fit on the Avs’ blue line, he was eventually put on waivers in January.

    He ended the season with one assist in 26 games with the Avalanche, and hit the open market after Colorado didn’t give him a qualifying offer.

    Wild sign Dumba to two-year, $5.1M deal

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    After ongoing contract talks between the Minnesota Wild and restricted free agent defenseman Matt Dumba, the two sides have come to a deal.

    The Wild announced Thursday that they had signed Dumba to a two-year deal, worth a total value of $5.1 million.

    A breakdown of the new deal:

    — In 2016-17: $2.35 million.

    — In 2017-18: $2.75 million.

    Selected seventh overall by the Wild in 2012, Dumba had his most productive campaign this past season, with 10 goals and 26 points in 81 games.

    Known for his offensive skills — he had 20 goals and 57 points with Red Deer in the WHL in his draft year — Dumba also brings a coveted right-shot to the Wild blue line, which features four players with contracts of four or more years of term remaining.

    As per General Fanager, the Wild still have $2.168 million in projected cap space, but they have secured all their remaining restricted free agents.