Tag: Michael Yormark

Vincent Viola

Official: Panthers sold to Vincent Viola for $250 million


A new era is about to start in Sunrise.

The Florida Panthers made it official today announcing the sale of the franchise to New York City businessman Vincent Viola for what’s believed to be $230 million. (Update: John Shannon of Sportsnet says it’s for $250 million with about half of that going to creditors) His official title is chairman, principal owner and governor of Sunrise Sports & Entertainment and the Panthers. That’s a mouthful.

Viola is purchasing the team from, now former owner, Cliff Viner and his group of investors. Panthers coach Kevin Dineen tells George Richards of the Miami Herald he’s proud of what Viner did for the franchise.

“Cliff leaves the franchise much better than how he found it,” coach Kevin Dineen told the Miami Herald. “He leaves us on solid ground and heading in the right direction.”

Joining Viola in the front office is Douglas Cifu as vice chairman, partner and alternate governor. Michael Yormark, who you may recall from past Twitter dustups, is promoted to team president and CEO.

With new ownership in place, the team was able to sign goalie Tim Thomas to a one-year deal yesterday. Perhaps this is a sign of things making a a successful turnaround both on and off the ice for the Panthers.

Curious: Panthers president has “important dinner” in Vegas while Roberto Luongo is in town

Roberto Luongo

The trade rumors that continue to rumble between the Florida Panthers and Vancouver Canucks added a bit of curiosity today.

Florida Panthers team president Michael Yormark tweeted seemingly innocuously that he was on the road this week and had a “very important dinner” in Las Vegas set for Monday night. That seems all well and good, team presidents often have to do important business on the road.


Wait, Roberto Luongo is in Vegas at the World Series of Poker? Huh… How about that. It must be a happy coincidence that the president of the team interested in acquiring a player is going to the city where said player is holed up for another event.

I’m sure Canucks GM Mike Gillis, the same guy who had tampering charges filed against Leafs GM Brian Burke in 2009, won’t be keeping an eye on either Yormark’s Twitter account or @strombone1 to see if there’s any shenanigans.

PHT Morning Skate: Youth served on blue line between Doughty and Pietrangelo

Alex Pietrangelo, Martin St. Louis

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Say what you will about the Blues-Kings series, but between Alex Pietrangelo and Drew Doughty, young blue line talent won’t be lacking. (Post-Dispatch)

L.A. putting Dustin Penner on the first line? The Kings hope it pays off in a big way. (Los Angeles Times)

Are the Blues just a more refined version of the Kings? They could be… (OC Register)

Looking for a reason why Nashville lost to Phoenix in Game 1? How about faceoffs? (Tennessean)

Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli would like to add a winger next season. That’s got nothing to do with Nathan Horton’s status though. (CSNNE.com)

Yes, Michael Yormark has officially called a truce with the Devils fan he trashed on Twitter. (Sun-Sentinel)

Meanwhile, Lou Lamoriello says the Devils “deserved to win this round” against Florida. (Fire & Ice)

Sadly, Caps forward says the race issue “will always be there” for him. (Tennessean)

Panthers owner asks fans to observe proper rat throwing etiquette

New Jersey Devils v Florida Panthers - Game Two

During one of the Florida Panthers’ goals on Saturday, New Jersey Devils fans asked a legitimate question: why didn’t the Panthers receive a penalty when rats were thrown on the ice? Perhaps refs decided to give excited fans a mulligan – it’s been a while, after all – but to make sure it doesn’t happen again, Panthers president/CEO Michael Yormark is pleading with fans to hold onto them until the final whistle blows.

“Great win but fans, we cannot throw rats during the game,” Yormark said. “This has become a serious issue.”

Chances are, a future scenario will result in a delay of game penalty.

It almost makes you wonder if a nefarious Devils fan might just throw a rat or two, instead …

Panthers’ 2012-13 ‘Club Red’ plan would represent radical price increases for some top seats

Lightning Panthers Hockey

One way or another, the Florida Panthers will be a very different team on the ice next season, even if those changes might not get them any closer to a playoff berth. They’ll have a slew of new (and largely unproven) forwards, some pricey veteran defensemen and a brand new No. 1 goalie in 2011-12. Apparently the franchise is banking on a serious revival among latent fans by next summer, because their 2012-13 “Club Red” plan represents price increases that are just as radical as their roster renovations.

The Winnipeg Free Press reports that Panthers season ticket holders in three of the BankAtlantic Center’s “prime sections” received a letter from the team that detailed dramatic price jumps for the 2012-13 season. The team plans to convert three sections – 134, 101 and 102 – to “Club Red,” which will be an “ultra-premium, all-inclusive” area for events at the arena.

Unfortunately, those “ultra-premium, all-inclusive” seats come at some hyper-ludicrous prices. Just read about the monetary impact one long-time Panthers fan named Allyn White would have to deal with to keep the “best seats in the house.”

The price to join the exclusive club rocked White like a blindside check. He said he was told his seats would cost $22,500 apiece, which would cover other events at BAC in addition to Panthers games. He said he paid about $5,000 for two seats at center ice in row 15 for the upcoming hockey season.

“I’ve been a season-ticket holder since Day 1 in Miami. I’ve never missed a game. You’re telling me too bad, your $5,000 tickets are now going to be $45,000?” said White, who runs a travel agency in Fort Lauderdale. “I don’t want to sit in the corners. I don’t want to sit in row 3. I sit in … prime seats, which I’ve earned. I’ve got the best seats in the house.”

Yeah, it’s pretty reasonable that White is upset with a 9x increase in his ticket prices. This seems like a ridiculously bold move for a team that hasn’t made the postseason in ages, especially since they run the risk of estranging some of their most passionate fans. Maybe the Panthers assume that they’re going to make a whole new batch of them during this pivotal season?

Panthers president Michael Yormark is known for finding some off-the-beaten path ways to make money, so it’s no surprise that he’s pumping up the idea.

“Obviously, it’s going to be a significant revenue generator for the organization. We also think it’s going to create a very unique experience for those people that become members,” said Michael Yormark, president and COO of the Panthers. “We did do focus groups, we talked to our season-seat holders. This was not something that was done in haste.”

For those prices, it better be a “very unique” experience for members and there better be some amazing food and beverages available. To be honest, I wouldn’t be impressed unless they had Tyrannosaurus Rex eggs on the menu, but “Club Red” members might end up being easier to please.