By Peter Gleason
When Peter Luukko abruptly quit as president of the Flyers and No. 2 at Comcast-Spectacor in December 2013, he talked about spending more time with his family, needing a new challenge and lots of other arglebargle.
And the butt-boys who cover the team reported it that way.
We always suspected and wrote at the time that Luukko got tired of his job and realized that the “great man himself,” (our quotes for irony) Ed Snider, would never cede control to him or anyone.
Just ask Pat Croce.
And now Luukko has spent enough time with his family and found a new challenge:
On Friday, he was named the Florida Panthers’ new executive chairman.
Luukko will work with the Panthers’ new ownership group, headed by CEO Rory Babich.
“Rory needs some help,” a source told the Miami Herald. “He’s done a lot in a short time but there’s a lot more to be done … He’s looking for a challenge. The Panthers are a challenge.”
Luukko abruptly resigned from the Flyers and Comcast on Dec. 2, 2013. He was Snider’s No. 1 executive for 25 years and responsible for the creation of most of the companies that form the Comcast-Spectacor umbrella.
The 55-year-old Luukko was the point man in acquiring new business opportunities for the company and helped make Comcast-Spectacor the behemoth it has become in terms of sports facility management, sports ownership, ticketing and licensing, etc.
He also pitched for the Flyers’ involvement in the Winter Classic, and getting the NHL draft in Philadelphia last summer. He also brought collegiate hockey, wrestling and gymnastics to the Wells Fargo Center.
Besides serving on the NHL’s Board of Governors, he played a major role in bringing Philly-based Global Spectrum to manage the Phoenix Coyotes’ arena. That deal cemented the Coyotes remaining in Glendale, Ariz. nearly two years ago.
Since leaving the Flyers, Luukko was an investor in Pointstreak Sports Technologies while also serving on its board of directors.