NHL approves $100 million deal

CHICAGO -- The sale of the Florida Panthers to a group
including former NFL quarterback Bernie Kosar was approved
Wednesday by the NHL Board of Governors.

Kosar, who played college football at Miami, and a group of
South Florida investors purchased the Panthers for about $100
million last month, pending league approval.

The sale also included the rights to the operating agreement of
the National Car Rental Center, the Panthers' arena.

The money primarily came from Alan P. Cohen, CEO of generic drug
maker Andrx Corp. The eight-man group also includes South Florida
car magnate Mike Maroone and Precision Response CEO David Epstein.

"We have been looking forward to this day since we first started discussing the purchase of the team," Cohen said.

Florida stumbled through an injury-filled season last year,
missing the playoffs for the third time in four seasons.

Wayne Huizenga brought the expansion team to South Florida in
1993. But Huizenga, CEO of Boca Resorts, the parent company that
owned the hockey team, had been trying to sell the franchise for
more than 18 months.