Stu Siegel, Cliff Viner and Michael Yormark (Brian McGuire)
By Dave Joseph for floridapanthers.com
SUNRISE - Panther co-managing partners Cliff Viner and Stu Siegel and President and COO Michael Yormark held a Town Hall meeting with fans before Wednesday’s game against the Avalanche.
The meeting coincided with the Panthers “Pledge” and “Contract With The Community” which outlines the philosophies and obligations of the Panthers and Sunrise Sports & Entertainment both on and off the ice.
Fans filled the BankAtlantic Chairman’s Club as Viner, Siegel and Yormark answered questions for approximately 35 minutes after speaking about the organization’s commitment to build a winner and stay active in the community, including a pledge to donate $1 million in kind to South Florida charitable organizations each year.
Fans asked a number of wide-ranging questions from having season-ticket holders donate their tickets to local charities to adding a goal scorer to the lineup and making players more accessible.
Viner said the Panthers have identified four keys to being a Panther player – character, grit, speed, and the desire to compete every night.
“It’s the job of (GM) Randy Sexton to put the right players in place,” he said. “It’s the job of (coach) Peter (DeBoer) to get the most out of them.”
Viner and Siegel said they believe communication has improved between business and hockey operations. Siegel agreed with one fan that some of the organization’s decisions in the past haven’t always been the best. “All we ask from you guys is you give us a chance,” he said.
Yormark told fans the Panthers are playing for the third consecutive season close to the cap and this year in the top third in the league. When asked how the Panthers could improve their offense when playing so close to the cap and with some players in the middle of longterm contracts, Siegel said; “Give us a chance to work through those things.”