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Panthers plan significant spending spree

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07:44 AM ET 12.17 | Fear not, Panthers fans. Vinnie Viola doesn't settle for mediocrity. Not in his career in investment and finance. Not in his time in the military. Not in his hobby of breeding thoroughbreds. He didn't buy the Florida Panthers to make an exception for hockey. The new owner reiterated his spend-to-win vow during a lengthy interview with the Sun Sentinel earlier this month. He said that will be evident in his first full offseason next year. "We intend on being in the free-agent market in a significant way" Viola said. "We're here to build a winner. ... We want to patiently win now. I don't know if we can resolve the two logically, but that's how I would say it." The Panthers missed out on the peak signing period last summer because the team was on the block.

Sun Sentinel

Tim Thomas, Icon Sports Tim Thomas, Icon Sports
December 17, 2013  08:10 AM ET

Maybe start by not buying re-tread tires (aka Tim Thomas).

December 17, 2013  08:28 AM ET

While it will be nice to finally have an owner willing to spend money on free agents (and not just to hit the cap floor) - hopefully we won't just be throwing money at any player with a heartbeat and an expiring contract. Viola is saying all the right things so far -- we shall see if his deeds match his words this coming off season.

December 17, 2013  08:30 AM ET

Spending does not always guarantee you a seat at the table.

December 17, 2013  08:32 AM ET

Yes, this is pre-cap era, but I had it handy and am too lazy to look up more current info ;) ...

Cup Finals appearance vs. Salary ranking

92/93 Habs (11th) vs Kings (3rd)
95/96 Avs (11th) vs Panthers (21st)
98/99 Stars (4th) vs Sabres (20th)
99/00 Devils (16th) vs Stars (4th)
00/01 Avs (3rd) vs Devils (13th)
01/02 Wings (1st) vs Canes (18th)
02/03 Devils (8th) vs Ducks (16th)
03/04 Lightning (21st) vs Flames (19th)

So the Cup winners where by salary: 11th, 11th, 4th, 16th, 3rd, 1st, 8th, 21st in spending that year. So only once did being the No. 1 spender get a Cup Finals appearance.

December 17, 2013  08:33 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

Spending does not always guarantee you a seat at the table.

Very true. I think all those compliance buyouts since the lockout prove that true without a doubt.....and on the flip side -- NOT spending can be just as self-defeating.

December 17, 2013  09:09 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

hopefully we won't just be throwing money at any player with a heartbeat and an expiring contract.

FLA Panthers = TOR Raptors

Different sport, same environment.

December 17, 2013  09:10 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

Very true. I think all those compliance buyouts since the lockout prove that true without a doubt.....and on the flip side -- NOT spending can be just as self-defeating.

Stating the obvious, it depends on what you are spending it ON.

December 17, 2013  09:14 AM ET

Panthers plan significant spending spree

Vinnie should wait for the after Christmas sales.

Comment #9 has been removed
December 17, 2013  09:33 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

Maybe start by not buying re-tread tires (aka Tim Thomas).

Unlike many on that team, at least Tim Thomas is pulling his own weight.

December 17, 2013  09:35 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

Unlike many on that team, at least Tim Thomas is pulling his own weight.

I was going to fix this quote by changing the last word, but I am still in "time out" from the mods....

December 17, 2013  09:37 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

Viola is saying all the right things so far -- we shall see if his deeds match his words this coming off season.

Sounds like Viola stole the Oilers "How To Rebuild A Hockey Team In Thee Easy Steps" book.

December 17, 2013  09:43 AM ET
QUOTE(#11):

I was going to fix this quote by changing the last word, but I am still in "time out" from the mods....

Hmmm .....

"They see you when you're sleeping
They know when you're awake
They know if you've been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake.

You better watch out,
You better not cry,
You better not pout,
I'm telling you why:
Mods are prowling around!
Mods are prowling around!
Mods are prowling around!!!"

December 17, 2013  10:00 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

Boxing Day has a different meaning in Florida. The boxes in that case are coffins.

Sales to die for?

December 17, 2013  10:22 AM ET

Even if the Panthers start winning will it equate to better attendance and an actual fan base in the Miami area? Doubtful. Send this team packing ... to Seattle.

Comment #16 has been removed
December 17, 2013  10:35 AM ET
QUOTE(#16):

Everything must go!

Protocol question.

Is it okay to wear a white belt and shoes to your own funeral after Labour Day?

Comment #18 has been removed
December 17, 2013  10:46 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

Unlike many on that team, at least Tim Thomas is pulling his own weight.

LOL. He's filling the goal area up for sure.

 
December 17, 2013  10:48 AM ET
QUOTE(#17):

Protocol question.Is it okay to wear a white belt and shoes to your own funeral after Labour Day?

Only if you go in a bar and brag you're a big karate guy after earning that white belt:)

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