Could the NHL soon be welcoming another new ownership group?
Not long after the Phoenix Coyotes and New Jersey Devils were sold, the Florida Panthers are reportedly on the verge of changing owners, according to the New York Post.
Citing “two sources close to the situation,” the Post said the prospective buyers are from New York, but was unable to confirm identities.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald claims the individual is Virtu Financial CEO Vince Viola, a New York-based businessman who was once a minority owner of the NBA’s New Jersey Nets.
Sportsnet’s John Shannon said he’s “hearing” the Panthers — whose current majority owner is Cliff Viner — are on the verge of being sold, adding there were two serious bidders for the team.
George Richards of the Miami Herald believes the club will remain in Sunrise, citing the NHL’s desire to make hockey work in the Miami-area market.
Related: How the Panthers make money despite, er, losing money
As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.
Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.
While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.
It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.
One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.
Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.
Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.
Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?
Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.
The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.
The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:
That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.
Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:
Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.
Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.