West Point alum Vincent Viola purchased the Panthers in 2013 and quickly stacked the Panthers front office with fellow alumni, including the team’s president & CEO Matt Caldwell. Caldwell explained that values instilled in Army service translated into a winning culture from the front office to the ice. “Military guys put their head down and say ‘No, nothing is going to stop us or get in the way’ . . . the state of the team now is reflective of that.” The team’s trips to West Point, including in 2016 for a preseason game against the New Jersey Devils, have helped to instill and reinforce that mindset in the players.
( C ) Florida Panthers