Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Cross Checks [Print without images]

Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Panthers could be in line for new owners

By Pierre LeBrun

Are the Florida Panthers about to get new ownership?

There are signs pointing that way, but nothing confirmed for now.

The New York Post reported in Wednesday’s edition that a sale was imminent. I’ve also been hearing about the potential for a sale over the past couple of weeks but nothing firm enough to report.

The Panthers’ ownership situation is not an agenda item for Monday’s board of governors meeting in New York, a source confirmed. But that doesn’t mean the team can’t be sold over the next month. Sale of NHL teams can be conducted via fax vote.

Cliff Viner has been the majority owner of the Panthers since November 2009, and he’s wanted out for a while.

A source said the sale could happen over the next month if all goes well. Which means it’s still not a sure thing.

Who is the potential mystery owner? South Florida radio host Andy Slater reported Wednesday morning that he believed it was Vincent Viola, a well-heeled Wall Street power broker.

If this thing goes through, it will be good news for the Panthers, who have had to cut payroll and have been limited financially over the past two seasons.

Neither the Panthers nor the NHL would comment Wednesday.