Harvey Fialkov of the Sun Sentinel reports via Twitter:
News that the Panthers were on the verge of being sold broke last week, with New York businessman Vincent Viola reportedly expected to take over the reins from current majority owner Cliff Viner.
“I know the two parties are working very hard on the transaction,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said yesterday. “They’re going to try to consummate that as quickly as possible.”
The Panthers are not expected to move out of Sunrise as part of this change in ownership. Expect Friday’s press conference to address that issue, as there’s been a good deal of speculation about the club’s future in its current market.
Per CapGeek, Florida has the fourth-lowest payroll in the NHL for the upcoming season, ahead of only the Senators, Islanders, and Flames. Expect the issue of spending — i.e. is ownership willing to increase it? — to come up Friday as well.
Didn’t take long for Jack Eichel to make his mark at the NHL level.
The No. 2 overall pick at this year’s draft scored his first-ever NHL goal in his first-ever NHL game on Thursday night, cutting Ottawa’s lead to 2-1 in the third period of Buffalo’s season-opener.
Marcus Foligno and another new Sabre, Evander Kane, registered the assists on Eichel’s marker, which came on the power play.
Chances are Robin Lehner won’t look back fondly on his first game as a Sabre.
Midway through Buffalo’s season-opener against Ottawa, Lehner — facing his old team for the first time since getting traded this summer — suffered a lower-body injury, and was forced from the contest.
During the second intermission, the Sabres ruled out Lehner for the night.
It was a difficult turn of events for 24-year-old, who admitted he was keen to go up against the Sens. He had a bit of a chip on his shoulder about his time in the Canadian capital; Lehner felt he never got a full opportunity to run with the No. 1 gig, and probably wasn’t thrilled GM Bryan Murray opted to keep Craig Anderson and Andrew Hammond instead of him.
As for tonight’s injury, details are scarce. All that’s known is the ailment was serious enough for Lehner to leave and not return, forcing backup Chad Johnson into duty.
Prior to getting hurt, Lehner had stopped 11 of 12 shots faced.