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A Family Affair In South Florida

from Craig Davis of the SunSentinel,

Viola, who will preside over his first home game Friday night, and wife Teresa are relocating as soon as they find a home. Travis Viola, 25, has already begun working as a Panthers executive and will be involved in the hockey and business sides. He recalls being inspired to learn to skate when he was 4 after seeing Wayne Gretzky play.

Doug Cifu, Vinnie Viola's longtime business partner and part owner of the Panthers, cited the New England Patriots (Krafts) and New York Giants (Maras) as models of family-run teams to emulate. John Viola spoke with admiration of the Rooneys in Pittsburgh, the Steinbrenners in New York.

"I think that's us," said John Viola, adding that his family will put their stamp on the Panthers, indicative of their Italian-American heritage.

"You'll be in our house, and it will be your house," he said of the BB&T Center. "That's how we treat everything. Everybody who wants to get to know us should try to get a ticket to Christmas Eve in our house. It's an all-day affair. We've got people from all over."

In other words, expect joyous gathering of extended family for a traditional feast of the seven fishes.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: vincent+viola

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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