ARIZONA COYOTES

Coyotes owner Andrew Barroway in discussions with potential investors

Mar 10, 2018, 2:55 PM | Updated: Mar 11, 2018, 10:22 am
(Photo courtesy of Arizona Coyotes)...
(Photo courtesy of Arizona Coyotes)
(Photo courtesy of Arizona Coyotes)

Coyotes chairman and governor Andrew Barroway is exploring potential partnerships for his ownership of the franchise, and he is engaged in discussions with a handful of significant investors, a league source told Arizona Sports.

It’s unclear and undetermined what role or share the unidentified investors would have in a new ownership structure and there is no timeline on any potential changes to that structure.

Aside from the obvious infusion of money, the idea for bringing in additional investors would be to better position the franchise for its long-term goals in the Valley, such as building a new arena, building a practice facility, increasing its efforts to building the sport in Arizona and forging more partnerships in the community.

Barroway completed his buyout of the team’s minority owners in June 2017, making him the sole owner of the franchise. The buyout removed all the members of the IceArizona ownership group that purchased the team from the NHL in August 2013.

Shortly after Barroway completed the buyout, he told Arizona Sports he was open to the idea of additional investors at some point down the road.

“On that one I don’t have a plan really,” he said. “I’m enjoying being the sole owner.

“If the opportunity presents itself, I’m open to discussing it, but I am thrilled with where I am right now.”

When asked then about concerns that he would be able to go it alone in this venture, Barroway said: “The league thinks I can handle this. I think I can handle it and I do run a billion-dollar hedge fund (Merion Investment Management).”

The Coyotes are 31st in the NHL in projected cap hit, per capfriendly.com, but they also have seven regular players playing on entry-level contracts.

Since Barroway took over, the Coyotes have been largely silent, by design, on plans for a new arena, but NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has repeatedly said that keeping the team in Arizona remains his focus and he still believes the team is working toward an arena solution.

Bettman said previously that the Coyotes cannot and will not remain at Gila River Arena in Glendale.

“My hope and expectation is that things can be worked out in Arizona, and we’re going to continue to focus on it that way,” Bettman said at the NHL All-Star Skills Competition in Tampa Bay, Florida in January.

“My only point is I wouldn’t focus on Arizona moving right now or any time soon, or maybe ever, so we’re not misconstrued here.”

LAST BIG HOMESTAND

The Coyotes open a five-game homestand on Sunday against the Vancouver Canucks. They will also face Los Angeles on Tuesday, Nashville on Thursday, Minnesota on Saturday and Calgary on Monday.

When the homestand ends, the Coyotes will open a six-game road trip in Buffalo on March 21. They will only have two home games remaining in the season, giving the final homestand added significance.

“We’ve just got to build some momentum because that’s a long trip that will take us all over the country,” defenseman Jason Demers said. “I think we’ve started to do a real good job of establishing our identity at home for next year, so we want to keep going with that.

“We were 5-2 on our last homestand and that was a big step for us so we’re going to try to replicate that and play the same way this time. It’s important to be tough to play against at home.”

LOOSE PUCKS

The Coyotes recalled forward Dylan Strome from Tucson, general manager John Chayka said. … Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson was fined $5,000, the maximum allowable under the collective bargaining agreement, for slashing Colorado’s Sven Andrighetto in the third period of a 5-2 loss to the Avalanche on Saturday.

Canucks at Coyotes

When: 6 p.m., Sunday

Where: Gila River Arena, Glendale

TV: FOX Sports Arizona

Radio: 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station

Records: Canucks — 25-34-9. Coyotes — 21-35-11.

Injury report: Canucks — Fs Sven Baertschi (shoulder), Loui Eriksson (fractured rib) and Markus Granlund (ankle) are out for the rest of the season. F Brock Boeser (back) is likely out for the rest of the season. Fs Brendan Gaunce (foot), and D Christopher Tanev (lower body) are on IR. G Jacob Markstrom (illness) is day-to-day.

Coyotes — F Zac Rinaldo (upper body) and G Antti Raanta (lower body) are day-to-day. F Laurent Dauphin (lower body) was injured Saturday at Colorado. His status will be updated Sunday.

Canucks scouting report: Vancouver has lost two games in a row and five of its past six. … Boeser (injured) led the team in goals (29) and points (55). … Forward Henrik Sedin leads the team with 41 assists. … Canucks coach Travis Green played for the Coyotes from 1999-2001 and was teammates with Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet for part of Green’s first season in Arizona.

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