The Arizona Coyotes have a deal 'in place' that would sell majority ownership of the franchise to Philadelphia hedge fund manager Andrew Barroway, according to an Associated Press report on ESPN.com.
The news comes two days after NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, who was in Glendale, Ariz., for the Coyotes' season opener against the Winnipeg Jets, told reporters "nothing had been finalized" between the two parties. The Coyotes current ownership group, IceArizona, insists selling the team to the East Coast-based Barroway "will only strengthen the franchise's ties to Arizona," the report said.
Barroway's 51 percent stake in the team will reportedly cost $155 million. The NHL's board of governors must approve the deal, but has not done so yet. If the deal is approved, Barroway would replace George Gosbee as the team's chairman and governor.
Bettman characterized Barroway's willingness to buy the team as "unsolicited." IceArizona had recently renovated the Coyotes' arena and negotiated new naming rights. The ownership group was thought to have no designs to immediately sell the team.
The Coyotes were bankrupt as recently as 2009 when then-owner Jerry Moyes attempted to sell the team. The NHL blocked the sale and the league ran the franchise itself until 2013.
- Will Green