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.
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’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)