Sale of the Florida Panthers expected today, plus the latest on Alexander Ovechkin, Derek Stepan, Dustin Brown, Jeff Skinner, Raffi Torres and more.

SUNSENTINEL.COM: The sale of the Florida Panthers and formal introduction of New York businessman Vincent Viola as the club’s new owner is expected to be announced today at 10 am ET.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Last night’s signing of goaltender Tim Thomas is seen as a signal of Viola’s impending takeover of the Panthers.

Alexander Ovechkin to be first Russian to carry Sochi Olympic torch.

Alexander Ovechkin to be first Russian torchbearer  for the Sochi Olympic torch relay.

WASHINGTON POST: Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin will travel to Greece and become the first Russian to carry the Olympic torch on its relay to Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

NEW YORK POST: Newly-resigned center Derek Stepan is returning to a banged-up Rangers club which has struggled in the preseason. Stepan insisted he felt no bitterness toward management for the lengthy contract standoff.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Kings captain Dustin Brown (hamstring) is confident he’ll return in time for the club’s season opener next week.

PIONEER PRESS: Minnesota Wild goalies Niklas Backstrom and Josh Harding have put their health concerns behind them as they resume their healthy goaltending competition.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Having these two healthy and at their best will certainly bolster the Wild’s playoff hopes this season.

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: A lower body injury will sidelined Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner for the club’s final two preseason games.

MERCURYNEWS.COM: San Jose Sharks forward Raffi Torres could miss most of this season following surgery to repair a torn ACL in his right knee.

STLTODAY.COM; The Blues want more out of winger Magnus Paajarvi, whom they acquired in a trade with the Edmonton Oilers this summer.

DENVER POST: Defenseman Cory Sarich hopes to rejuvenate his career with the Colorado Avalanche, who acquired him in a four-player trade this summer with the Calgary Flames.

TVASPORTS: The Phoenix Coyotes have released forward Gilbert Brule.

NATIONAL POST: Noted sports photographer Denis Brodeur, father of NHL star Martin Brodeur, has passed away at age 82. Brodeur was also official photographer of the Montreal Canadiens for many years.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Condolences to the Brodeur family. Check out this link to see some of his famous work.