Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/18/13 at 12:35 PM ET
from George Richards of On Frozen Pond,
Vincent “Vinnie” Viola, a prominent New York businessman and former minority owner of the NBA’s Nets, is leading a group in finalizing a deal to purchase the Florida Panthers from Palm Beach businessman Cliff Viner, an industry source said Wednesday.
Letters of intent have been executed, but the transaction still needs to be signed and approved by the NHL. The source said it’s conceivable the deal could fall through, but both sides want to make it happen.
The Panthers are expected to remain in South Florida; the team’s lease with the Broward County-owned BB&T Center runs through 2028.
Sunrise Sports & Entertainment, which operates the arena, is the profitable arm of the Florida Panthers family of companies and is said to be part of the transaction.
The team had no comment after the New York Post first reported a group of New York-based investors were buying the team.
A source close to the team confirmed the sale was in the works and said general manager Dale Tallon has been telling players interested in coming to the Panthers -- such as former All-Star goalie Tim Thomas -- that a new owner would be in place soon.
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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.
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