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February 05, 2015

Former Flyers president Peter Luukko reportedly set to join Panthers

NHL Flyers
020515_Peter-Luukko_AP Matt Rourke/AP

Former Comcast-Spectacor president Peter Luukko

Just over a year after his surprising resignation as Flyers president, former Comcast-Spectacor COO Peter Luukko will be named executive chairman of the Florida Panthers, according to George Richards of the Miami Herald.

An announcement is expected to be made on Friday. Here's more from Richards:

A high-ranking source within the Florida organization said Luukko -- who left his position as Flyers' team president and COO of the organization's Comcast-Spectacor operating arm in 2013 -- came highly-recommended from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.

The Panthers' new ownership group, which took over the team in September 2013, went to Bettman looking for an executive with extensive hockey and building operating experience to help out the franchise six months ago. 

Bettman and Luukko are said to be extremely tight.

Rory Babich, who replaced team president Michael Yormark last year, will remain CEO of the organization and will work alongside Luukko. [via]

Luukko, whose son Nick was picked by the Flyers in the sixth round of the 2010 draft, declined to comment on the situation according to Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News.

Luukko, 55, spent 25 years working alongside Flyers chairman Ed Snider before his abrupt resignation in December 2013. 

"We've had better days," Snider told Sam Carchidi of the Inquirer following Luukko's exit. "It came out of the blue, but I guess he gave a lot of thought over the holidays and decided to do other things with his life."

"We'll survive," he added, "but he's done a hell of a job and he will be hard to replace."

Since then, Luukko has been working in the business sector, most recently as chairman of Philly Sports Holdings, L.L.C., which specializes in sports memorabilia and is based in Exton.