Florida Panthers owner Viola: "Expect to be competing for a place in the Stanley Cup Playoffs"

An open letter to fans...

Vincent Viola, new chairman of the Florida Panthers, has chimed in with his own thoughts going forward after Friday's release of head coach Kevin Dineen:

As you are undoubtedly aware, we have decided to make a change behind the bench for your Florida Panthers with Peter Horachek becoming the team’s new interim head coach, replacing Kevin Dineen.

Peter brings years of NHL experience and, more importantly, the right character and drive to lead our team.

We thank Kevin and his family for their passion, sacrifice and dedication to this franchise, but at this time we felt a change in direction was absolutely necessary.

Our goals are simple: to win and to build a team that our fans can be proud of. After 16 games it is clear that we have not lived up to those expectations.

A bit more from Viola at the club's official site.