NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said that the sale of the Florida Panthers is in progress and that he anticipates a timely resolution to their ownership situation. "I know the two parties are working very hard on the transaction. They're going to try to consummate that as quickly as possible" Bettman said after Monday's Board of Governors meeting at the New York Hilton in midtown Manhattan. The New York Post reported the sale of the team last week saying it was "imminent" with the mystery owner believed to be businessman Vincent Viola according to a report by South Florida's 640-AM Sports. Cliff Viner has been the majority owner of the struggling franchise which finished with the worst record in the league last season since 2009. "They are working on concluding the transaction as quickly as possible" Bettman said though he did not confirm the interested ownership group involved. Bettman would not answer questions about the anticipated timeline of the transaction but said that "it's on track." A source told ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun last week that the sale could be completed in the next month barring any complications. That situation and the recent ownership changes elsewhere in the league -- New Jersey Phoenix -- were topics of discussion during the meeting a state of the league-type affair. Also discussed were the proposed rule changes including the controversial hybrid-icing rule. Several players have spoken out against it already including New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur but the NHLPA must choose to approve or disapprove by the start of the season. Bettman said that executive vice president and director of hockey operations Colin Campbell polled general managers over the weekend to gauge their feelings on the rule. "While some raised some issues and questions I still think the vast majority still favor hybrid icing" Bettman said.
Bettman says sale of Panthers is 'On Track'
ESPN | Sep 23