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New Coyotes owners plan to expand payroll

LISTEN: Anthony LeBlanc, Head of new Coyotes ownership group

In terms of spending money, the Phoenix Coyotes have been more Scrooge McDuck than Tony Stark the last few seasons.

And why wouldn’t they be, with the NHL owning them and all.

That is no longer the case, as Renaissance Sports & Entertainment is set to purchase the club from the league, meaning the team’s budget will actually have a chance to expand.

And expand it will.

“It’s definitely going up this coming season, and it’s going up by a real number,” Anthony LeBlanc, who is heading RSE, told Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo Wednesday.

Last season, the team spent about $49.5 million on player salaries, according to, a number that ranked last in the NHL and was nearly $20 million less than the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks, LeBlanc said the plan is to spend around $55 million this season and then add salary in each of the following two years.

How viable that plan is and how much will be spent is largely dependent on the team having greater success at the box office.

“This is all going to come down to the team translating the success that we see on the ice to the business side,” LeBlanc added. “So we can get out there and continue to bring talent into this organization.”

But rest assured, LeBlanc is confident a plan is in place to assure it happens.

Saying “this is a turnaround story,” he noted that his group has a plan in place to ensure the franchise becomes a success in Arizona. The plan, he said, was good enough to convince the Glendale City Council to give them a chance.

“We feel very confident and the reality is our business plan has been shared with the majority of council and I think that was the point that actually swayed them,” he said. “They’ve looked at our business plan, they’ve looked at the thoughtfulness of our marketing plan and our commitment to the market, and I really think that’s what tipped the balance in our favor.”

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