Florida Panthers Sold?

Mike BurseCorrespondent IJune 3, 2009

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - SEPTEMBER 23: A Florida Panther wears the Puerto Rican flag on his Jersey in honor of the first game held in Puerto Rico  against The New York Rangers on September 23, 2006 at the Coliseo De Puerto Rico in San Juan , Puerto Rico.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

As reported originally by Reuters and subsequently Sportsnet...

Sports Properties Acquisition Corp, formed in 2008, has placed a $240 million offer to purchase the Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League.

The company had been rumored to be placing a bid on the Phoenix Coyotes. This would be highly unlikely now that they have an offer to purchase another team.

Before we get to any speculation, no they are not planning on moving the team to southern Ontario. If they are there has been no indication of this to date.

Sports Properties offer to purchase includes:

- The Florida Panthers hockey club

- BankAtlantic Center

- An arena management company

- As well as some land surrounding the arena


Sports Properties' management team includes:

- Tony Tavares, former president of the Washington Nationals (MLB) and former CEO of Disney Sports Enterprises

- Andrew Murstein, New York City taxi tycoon

- Hank Aaron, the true home run "king"

- Mario Cuomo, former New York State Governor

- Richard Mark, Senior Partner at Apollo Real Estate Advisors

That appears to be quite a diverse group of sports professionals and otherwise. It appears that this group could stabilize the situation in Florida and help to grow the teams fan-base, possibly tweaking the teams economic model enough to make them a profitable member of the National Hockey League.

Poor Mr. Bettman must be pulling what hair he has left out these days. With all the talk of Phoenix and Mr. Balsille, the Washington Capitals being accused of taking performance enhancing drugs, the scheduling problems with the Stanley Cup Final, and now another team set to be purchased.

Gary Bettman has to wonder if this is what he signed up for when he took the job as Commissioner of the National Hockey League.