Report: Panthers to introduce new owners Friday

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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.