Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Panthers Get New Owner

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Panthers Get New Owner

Article excerpt

Vincent Viola, who grew up in Brooklyn, graduated from West Point, is a former chairman of the New York Mercantile Exchange and after the Sept. 11 attacks founded a center devoted to combating terrorism, is the new owner of the Florida Panthers, said a person familiar with the situation.

Viola paid $250 million to buy the NHL franchise, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the terms have not been made public. The Panthers scheduled a news conference today to discuss ownership, but confirmed no other details.

Viola will replace Cliff Viner, a longtime Panthers fan who became a co-general partner of the team in 2009 and took over as general partner, chairman and CEO the following year.

MORE HOCKEY

Tim Thomas, 39, a former Stanley-Cup winning goalie, signed a one- year contract with the Florida Panthers. Financial terms were not released. Thomas led the Bruins to the 2011 Stanley Cup.

* Denis Brodeur, the father of star goalie Martin Brodeur and one of Canada's most successful sports photographers, died Thursday in Montreal. He was 82.

* Jack Nicklaus, winner of 73 official PGA Tour victories and a record 18 major championships, will take part in the ceremonial puck drop before the Columbus Blue Jackets' season-opener Oct. 4 against Calgary at Nationwide Arena.

* The New York Rangers signed center Derek Stepan, 23, who led the team with 44 points last season, to a two-year contract worth a total of $6.15 million -- $2.3 million this season and $3.85 million in 2014-15.

* San Jose Sharks forward Raffi Torres has surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and is expected back later this season.

GOLF

Down to his last chance to earn a PGA Tour card, Ashley Hall opened the Web.com Tour Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., with a 7-under 63 and a one-shot lead. Indiana, Pa., native Steve Wheatcroft shot a 74 and was in danger of missing the cut. Wheatcroft is holding the 25th spot on the money list among players who don't already have a card. …

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