The Coyotes have gone from the team that no one seemed to want to a franchise that’s adding on a new majority owner roughly 18 months after IceArizona bought them from the NHL. Andrew Barroway sat down with the Coyotes’ leadership this afternoon to introduce himself to the public after the NHL’s board of governors approved his purchase of the Coyotes.
If the theme of the press conference could be summed up in a single word, it would be stability. It’s what the Coyotes desperately wanted after years of being ownerless and waiting to see if the franchise would be moved. At one point the uncertainty surrounding this franchise was so great that even re-signing captain Shane Doan was complicated. But now?
“We have the stability we need to have long-term success,” Don Maloney said, per the Coyotes’ Twitter feed.
Of course, there was speculation that Barroway was interested in flipping the team to someone who would want to put a franchise in Las Vegas, but Barroway, who described being an NHL owner as a childhood dream, shot down those rumors.
“I did not buy this team for a quick flip,” Barroway said. “I want to bring a winner to the Valley.”
The sale of the Coyotes comes at a key time for the Coyotes as the trade deadline is approaching and Maloney needs to decide what to do with Antoine Vermette. His five-year, $18.75 million contract is set to expire this summer and he’s earned a substantial raise thanks to his versatility. He’s generating a lot of interest on the trade market, but the ideal for the Coyotes would likely still be to re-sign him.
“Since day one we’ve been waiting on our ownership to be restructured,” Maloney told PHT on Dec. 22, “and we’ll continue to wait on that, and once it gets restructured we’ll see whether there’s an opportunity to re-sign him or not.”
From a cap perspective, there’s no question that the Coyotes can fit him in even if Vermette expects a big contract, but Arizona has its own internal budget to consider. With Barroway on board, perhaps that’s less of a constraint.
At the same time, Maloney is looking to build the team from the ground up, so even if he has more flexibility, the Coyotes aren’t likely to dramatic increase their payroll in the near term.