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Panthers Changing Hands?

Pantherowners It appears that the Alan Cohen Era of the Florida Panthers is over.

Various news organizations -- including The Miami Herald -- is reporting that Sports Properties Acquisitions is buying the team from Cohen and his various partners (Cliff Viner, Mike Maroone, Bernie Kosar, Jordan Zimmerman, Steve Cohen, etc.) for $240 million.

Cohen and his group bought the team from H. Wayne Huizenga (who is still part of the partnership) for $101 million in 2001.

SPA is getting the team, the sweatheart lease to the arena and development rights to the surrounding land.

Word I'm getting is that Mr. Cohen has been asked to stay on with the team in some capacity but he has not accepted that offer. Michael Yormark is expected to remain with the team.

And no, the Panthers haven't found a general manager just yet.

Your comments below...

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Hopefully, SPA has some people who know how to run a team, much less a hockey team.

If they were smart, they'd kick Yormack to the curb also. No one makes local fans dislike the organization more than Yormack.

This is great news! Alan Cohen tried hard, but there is a reason that he was ranked the 2nd worst owner in the NHL.

From what I am hearing, the new ownership is committed to spending the money it takes to put a good team on the ice. South Florida fans are fickle, but will support winners.

Martin's departure now makes sense. I guess the new owners will not willing to make a commitment to him.

This could be the greatest day in the history of this franchise

They need to seperate the business side and the hockey side........

Let Yormark run the SSE but have a real person in charge of the team and no have to report to him!!!!!

Great news except that they plan on keeping Yormark. Maybe they need him to sell the advertising to the rest of the parking lot to the Yellow Cab, come in a Yellow Cab and get a free ticket

Plan the parade route. I want ticker tape. And silly snot. And ice dancers playing kazoos. I want Stanley and midget Stanley riding snowmobiles down Collins avenue as Peter DeBoer rides behind on a white stallion. Then comes the Stanley Cup, guarded by real Florida Panthers. Fireworks explode all around as tap dancing grizzly bears perform Riverdance. And finally Mike Keenan follows with a dunce hat being pelted with oranges and mangos.

Good riddance to quite possibly the worst era in sofla sports history.

Panthers arena is one of the top arenas and manages to sell tickets somehow despite a horrible team. The problem with the team has been bad management. When your team does not make the playoffs in three years after hiring a "turn around coach" than its time for a firing not a promotion to GM. JM should have been out of here about two years ago.

Maybe the soon to be new owners asked Cohen where his head has been - and asked to do a sweep of the club before the door hits him on his way out...

The good news is new management is coming, and they want to make money and sell tickets that is done by making the playoffs. I'm excited about the changes!

Alan Cohen has proven that a "fan" should not run a sports franchise.

James, that was pretty funny!

James..........I like your parade plans. the grizzly bear thing is quite interesting. I am, however, troubled by your fixation on ice dancers with kazoos. Maybe counseling is in order? Just some concern from your AHL affiliate up North.
Enjoy your parade.

Steve, you're absolutely right. Yormark does a great job with the business/advertising. His revenue generating ability (like it or not), and giving tickets away so concession revenue spikes, and concerts, all play a hand in absorbing the Coyote type losses they see in hockey. BUT they NEED someone who has hockey knowledge and knows how to make hockeyd decisions. They have Torrey, but I'm not so sure he wants to be THE guy. They need a corportate structure for the hockey side, just like they have for the business side. We all know they go hand in hand. St. Louis has this structure, Detroit has this structure, Chicago has this structure, HIRE A PRESIDENT OF HOCKEY OPERATIONS! Leave Yormark pitching sponsors, let the owners cut the checks, and let the people that have been around hockey since they were 2 run the hockey decisions.

Well the Negative Nancys get their wish. Not only is Jacques Martin gone, but the "cheap" owner (who came about 4 million short of the cap last year), Alan Cohen, is now gone too. Good luck to all the Nancys out there because now I'll be the negative one. This team is screwed. And until it's flipped (which is the only logical plan for this ownership group), it will continue to be screwed. You folks wanted it and now you have it. Be careful what you wish for......

paying to the cap is not the problem it is running the scouting department on a shoestring so that you don't get the right players. It is promoting a coach that you fired (more than once to be the GM), it is picking the wrong players in the draft. It is allowing the NHL to change the rules before the Crosby draft so that you don't have as good a chance to get a high draft pick. It is the false statements. It is turning a class arena into a billboard.

Cohen is a nice guy. Yormark does the job he was hired to do real well (make money on the arena).

9 years no playoffs in a league where over 50% of the teams make the playoffs.

Is it better to accept this organization that runs the business side really well but the hockey side is a disaster or is it better to get someone in who you hope will be better than the previous one in that they will put the money into the scouting and development to build the team like Chicago, Pittsburgh and Washington have done since JM has been here.

Is it wanting an owner that the players want to play here. Is it wanting an owner that accepts and welcomes the players from the past. Is it wanting an owner that will be truthful and honest to its customers.

I see the light at the end of the tunnel because it can't get much worse than how the hockey side of the panthers are run

You just have to love guys like "PantherPete" who look down their noses at what he terms "Negative Nancys". Gee Pete, do you expect fans to be anything but negative about the way this organization has been run considering it has been unable to even secure a playoff berth in 8 straight season, plus it gave away a goalie in what is widely considered one of the most lopsided deals in NHL history. Not to mention the 2 times Keenan was hired and fired, or the fact that they haven't won a single playoff game in 11 years. Yeah, let's all stand up and cheer for a decade of total futility!

Besides, Andrew Murstein is bound to be a better owner than Cohen. He really wants to own a sports franchise and has tried to buy several in the past several years. I can guarantee that he won't give a second of thought to hiring a team wrecker like Keenan, or give away a valuable player for absolutely nothing in return.

Cohen needs to pass on the opportunity to stay and he needs to take his Yorkie lap dog with him. They may be good at some business operations, but hockey is NOT one of them.

Michael Yormark and Pedro Goncalves are D-Bags. They are awful at what they do. Pedro is so far up Yormarks rear. I hope Yormark gets canned and same with Pedro so they can move in together and make it offical.

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