ARIZONA COYOTES

NHL Board of Governors approves sale of Coyotes to Alex Meruelo

Jun 19, 2019, 1:24 PM | Updated: 2:26 pm

Pictured: Alex Meruelo

The sale of the Arizona Coyotes to businessman Alex Meruelo progressed another step forward on Wednesday as the NHL’s Board of Governors approved the proposed deal at the board’s meeting in Las Vegas, league commissioner Gary Bettman told reporters after the meeting.

The approval is a key step in finalizing the sale, a process that is not yet complete. A statement from Coyotes president and CEO Ahron Cohen said Wednesday that the sale is expected to close later in July.

“The Board of Governors’ unanimous approval today represents a major milestone for the Coyotes organization, our great fans and, of course, for Mr. Alex Meruelo,” Cohen’s statement said. “As we move forward, our team will do everything we can to continue building the positive momentum and progress we have achieved on and off the ice.”

Last week, it became known that Meruelo was, as a source confirmed, “interested” in buying the Coyotes. The deal would make current owner Andrew Barroway a minority owner two years after he became the sole owner of the team in June of 2017. 

As Morgan reported, “league sources said that for the foreseeable future, Meruelo’s focus would be on making the team successful in Arizona.”

The team currently plays in Glendale, where its status as a tenant at Gila River Arena had been jeopardized by spats with the city. Now on a year-to-year renewal basis on its lease, the Coyotes franchise would be motivated to move eastward in-part to get closer to its primary ticket-buying demographic.

ESPN’s Emily Kaplan reported Wednesday that Bettman, when asked if the team would be prevented from leaving Arizona under new ownership, said, “Yes for a period of time. But we also understand the importance of a new arena. Because Glendale is not viable longterm [sic].”

As for the Coyotes’ on-ice play, Arizona finished four points behind the Colorado Avalanche for the second Wild Card spot in 2018-19, ending the year with a record of 39-35-8. Its penalty kill (85%) was tied for first in the NHL, and their 221 goals against was the fifth-best in the league. Goal-scoring was an issue, though, as goals-for and power play percentage were each among the worst handful of teams in hockey.

Adding to the forward group, in particular, is a necessary step for furthering the Coyotes’ progress as a contender, and the team’s prospects for doing so this offseason could be affected by an influx of cash.

Arizona Coyotes

(Photo via Arizona Coyotes)...
Kevin Zimmerman

Arizona Coyotes reveal new white Kachina road jerseys

The Arizona Coyotes announced a return to their white road option to go along with their Kachina home jerseys.
10 hours ago
Arizona Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong and assistant general manager John Ferguson (Screens...
Kellan Olson

New Coyotes assistant GM attracted to team’s vision, long-term upside

The Arizona Coyotes are in a full-fledged rebuild, and the commitment to that vision excites new assistant GM John Ferguson.
4 days ago
The NHL logo displayed behind a hockey net during intermission between the Montreal Canadiens and t...
Associated Press

NHL expects 98% of players to be vaccinated before season

The NHL estimates 98% of players will be vaccinated on the league's 32 teams across North America.
4 days ago
Executive Director of Player Personnel John Ferguson Jr. attends the 2014 NHL Entry Draft at Wells ...
Sam Graveline

Coyotes name John Ferguson assistant GM, GM of Tucson Roadrunners

Arizona Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong named John Ferguson assistant General Manager and General Manager of the Tucson Roadrunners on Wednesday.
4 days ago
@ArizonaCoyotes/Twitter...
Sam Graveline

Coyotes to play in ‘Kraft Hockeyville’ preseason game in El Paso

The Coyotes are heading to El Paso, Texas, to take on the Dallas Stars in a preseason game on Oct. 3 as a part of Kraft Hockeyville USA 2020.
5 days ago
Ottawa 67's Associate Coach Mario Duhamel talks to the media after Ontario Hockey League action bet...
Tom Kuebel

Coyotes add Mario Duhamel, confirm 3 others to 2021-22 coaching staff

The Coyotes announced the hiring of new assistant coach Mario Duhamel and the return three other assistant coaches.
7 days ago
NHL Board of Governors approves sale of Coyotes to Alex Meruelo