Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/27/13
New York businessman Vincent Viola will attempt to transfer his winning touch on Wall Street to the NHL after he takes the reins as owner of the Florida Panthers on Friday. Viola former chairman of the New York Mercantile Exchange is purchasing the Panthers for $250 million in a deal that includes the operation of the BB&T Center a source familiar with the transaction confirmed. A 10 a.m. news conference is scheduled at the arena. The impact of the ownership change has already resonated with the signing Thursday of veteran goalie Tim Thomas to a one-year contract. The two-time Vezina Trophy winner has been working with the Panthers on a tryout basis. Panthers coach Kevin Dineen indicated earlier that he hadn't used Thomas in an exhibition game because his contract and the ownership deal hadn't been finalized. Viola a Wall Street power broker and former minority owner of the New Jersey Nets before the NBA franchise moved to Brooklyn is buying out the group headed by South Florida businessman Cliff Viner that took ownership in 2009.
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