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Link: Panthers' Mount Puckmore

Certainly one of my submissions will carry a wee bit of controversy. Huge thanks to Sean at Puck Daddy for the invite.

And so begins the Viner-Siegel Era (or is that Siegel-Viner?)

From your new Panthers Overlords: As fans, you will always know where we stand as an organization. We will be accessible to you, and will give you as much information as possible about our hockey club. We will communicate with you, through the media, through letters like this one, through blogs and face-to-face at games and town hall meetings.

Shades of Phoenix: NHL spiking story of Florida Panthers sale?

From The Puck Stops Here, via Kukla's Korner: Alan Cohen was tired of paying for Florida Panthers losses and he decided to get out. He is leaving the team to his major partners in his 2001 purchase (Cliff Viner and Stu Siegel). Probably the deal is not for a significant amount of money. It is Cohen getting out and leaving things to the partners that remain. The partners have little choice but the either buy him out and assume any losses on the team or to give up their ownership and lose any equity they have in the Florida Panthers. These men are both Florida businessmen who probably never had any desire to be more than minority partners in a local ownership group of an NHL team. With the majority partner departing, they are forced to accept a bigger role than they ever wanted in an effort to not "lose their shirt" in this investment. This is remarkably similar to what happened with the Phoenix Coyotes.

Here we go again...Panthers to make "Major Ownership Announcement" Monday

From the official site: The press conference will take place following the Panthers morning skate ahead of their Monday night matchup with the Los Angeles Kings, and will feature Panthers ownership representatives, President & COO Michael Yormark, General Manager Randy Sexton, Head Coach Pete DeBoer and other VIPs. Shall we dust off the speculation once more...?

Reuters: Sale of Florida Panthers "has collapsed"

Posted at 6:12pm EST Thursday: ...(a) source told Reuters the deal collapsed because Panthers owner Alan Cohen did not want to cede control of the team, while Sports Properties was scared off by the Panthers' weak finances. The league itself claimed the sale would not gain NHL approval since the new ownership "lacked a primary investor taking a substantial equity stake" (Miami Herald, Wednesday). Deep doodoo indeed for an owner who is reportedly desperate to sell. This affects everything from naming a permanent general manager to free agency pickups to potential trades. Thoughts?

SI.com: Sale of Panthers a boon for fans...maybe

From Allan Muir: This is a team so bereft of offensive firepower that coach Peter DeBoer already has said that he's counting on several young players to have career years, and others to maintain last season's career bests. Uh-huh. Probably hoping for 82 games out of everyone, too.

Sun-Sentinel: Former Wild coach Jacques Lemaire talking to Panthers?

Could be, and most certainly in nothing more than an advisory role, according to Steve Gorten: I called up Lemaire today and asked about his interest in joining the Panthers as a consultant, similar to a role Scotty Bowman has filled in recent years with the Red Wings and now Blackhawks. Here's what Lemaire told me: "There were a lot of things that were said that are not true. What I said is I'm looking to work for a team that is located on the East coast. A lot of people, because I live in Palmetto, which is not that far from Tampa, speculated the deal was done and that's where I'm going to go." Gorten quashes the idea with the case of a possible power struggle at the top and the removal of Denis Potvin for "budgetary" reasons. Not mention: You'd have a GM and consultant pushing a defensive-oriented roster and approach on a coach that needs more offensive tools. Sound logic. The Cats would be unwise to not at the very least sit down with the guy and mine his brain; perhaps he could provide something to the club in such an advisory role. But Gorten's points make too much sense.

"Oz": Panthers owner Alan Cohen's new premier community at the BAC

Marketing / Promotional info on "Oz", to be built adjacent to the BankAtlantic Center: It's sunrise, and a fresh-baked scone beckons at the French bakery right outside your door. Your coffee is perfect because it is prepared by a local who knows you by name. Just a few feet from your residence is your office, and your commute is a stroll, no bus, no car, no taxi, no train. You will pass friends along the way. They will smile, wave and say hello. Indeed, nothing says "good living" quite like a scone. And all the smiling and waving sounds like a stroll through labotomy-land. Who wrote this? Richard Simmons? Alas, it gets better: Tonight you might take in a show, a Broadway show, or a professional hockey game or concert at the arena just around the corner. Your seats will be just where you like them, thanks to your resident concierge. Late night is every night in Oz, with sidewalk cafes, clubs, restaurants, bistros and even fitness clubs operating on your schedule. Who doesn't need the option of a 3 a.m. visit to the bistro outside your door? And exactly what is included in the "concierge" service? Are they female? Bob Norman of the Broward New Times carries this, um, unusual story.

David Shoalts: Panthers owner Cohen seeking to sell shares of club?

From the Globe & Mail: Sports Properties Acquisition Corp., controlled by New York financier Andrew Murstein and high-profile former U.S. politicians Mario Cuomo and Jack Kemp, is talking to the team's chairman and general partner Alan Cohen about merging with the Panthers' parent company (Sunrise Sports & Entertainment), according to sources quoted by the Sports Business Daily. NHL sources told The Globe and Mail that Murstein, who once tried to buy the Anaheim Ducks, has been making inquiries about the Panthers for several weeks. The Sports Properties vice-chairman was trying to ascertain if the team, which has not made the NHL playoffs for nine years and narrowly missed them this year, was on the rise. Much more to come on this today.

Sun Sentinel: Panthers majority owner Alan Cohen: Martin's job secure

"Also, for those wondering, Alan said general manager Jacques Martin's job is secure -- he has no plans to make changes there." The Sentinel's Steve Gorten W4E say: That's that. I supported his rise to the GM position, was behind him on holding Bouwmeester in February, and still believe he's the right guy for the job. There's been enough turnover, and JM's three-year plan is entering that pivotal third year.
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