GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — When news broke that Andrew Barroway was buying a majority stake in the Arizona Coyotes, speculation began to fly that team would leave the desert.
Barroway is from Philadelphia, had tried to buy teams back East and the Coyotes had been rumored to be moving for several years, so it was an easy conclusion to jump to.
Barroway insists that’s not the case.
“I’m committed to be here,” Barroway said after being introduced Friday as the Coyotes’ majority owner. “It’s a beautiful place. We have some passionate fans. We can build a winning, long-term organization here and really, really thrive.”
The Coyotes gained some stability before the start of the 2013-14, when IceArizona bought the franchise after four years of being run by the NHL.
IceArizona took nearly everyone by surprise when it agreed in October to sell a 51 percent stake in the franchise to Barroway for $152.5 million. The deal was finalized and approved by the NHL’s board of governors this week.
The deal gives the Coyotes a massive gives the Coyotes a massive financial infusion and the members of Canadian-based IceArizona a substantial tax break. The Coyotes have had one of the lowest payrolls in the NHL, along with some of the lowest attendance.
The 48-year-old Barroway has been a successful hedge fund manager as managing partner of Merion Investment Management LP, an event-driven hedge fund that manages more than $1 billion. He previously tried to buy the New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders.
Barroway will take over the title of chairman and governor from George Gosbee, with final say on all decisions. President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc retains his current position.
“One of the things we were really encouraged about in our initial discussions with Andrew when we started the process is that he wants to be collaborative,” LeBlanc said.
The Coyotes could use some help this season.
Arizona got off to a slow start and continued to spiral downward. Through Thursday’s games, the Coyotes were 13th in the West with 32 points, 13 behind the conference’s last playoff spot.
Adding Barroway and his money will give them more flexibility for signing or trading for players to bolster the roster.
“What I’m encouraged about with my discussions with Andy is the long-term view of the team, the game, where the game is going and what we have to do to have success,” Coyotes general manager Don Maloney said. “Any knee-jerk, quick fix that might give us another five points in the standings, that’s not going to happen. We’re going to think things through and analyze what we have in this organization.”
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