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Coyotes owners to sell controlling share of NHL team: reports

10/02/2014 07:37 EDT | Updated 12/02/2014 05:59 EST
The release of seven players from training camp, including the son of ex-NHL enforcer Tie Domi, wasn’t the biggest news concern the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday.

Reports surfaced that the team will once again be sold by the end of October to Philadelphia-based hedge-fund investor Andrew Barroway, who previously attempted to purchase the New Jersey Devils in 2012 and New York Islanders earlier this year.

It’s believed Barroway would purchase 51 per cent of the Coyotes, with present owners IceArizona, under the Renaissance Sports and Entertainment umbrella, would maintain a 49 per cent interest in the franchise.

Last August, the NHL team was sold to a group of investors led by Canadian businessmen George Gosbee and Anthony LeBlanc, who have since rebranded the Coyotes by changing the name from Phoenix and giving a new-look to game jerseys.

Bill Daly, NHL deputy commissioner, declined comment about the impending sale when contacted by the New York Post.

The Coyotes issued a statement Thursday evening in response to reports of an impending sale.

"The Arizona Coyotes can confirm that IceArizona has been in discussions with an unsolicited potential investor who is interested in joining the partnership. This should be viewed as an incredibly positive development and is due to the successful first year of IceArizona's ownership. This is all about the long-term stability and viability of the franchise in Arizona.

"By no means are any members of the current IceArizona group departing the ownership. While there has been no confirmation of any transaction, this is something that the current ownership group is exploring."

In 2009, the league paid $140 million to get the Coyotes out of bankruptcy.

Barroway would buy 51 per cent of the Arizona club based on a recent $305 million valuation of the troubled franchise after RSE purchased it for a reported $170 million.

In exchange for the right to buy the Coyotes, which the Post reports lost $24 million last season, Barroway would apparently drop his $10 million lawsuit against Islanders owner Charles Wang after claiming the latter backed out of a handshake deal to buy the team.

Barroway alleges Wang backed out of a deal after the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers sold for $2 billion in the summer.

In 1998, Barroway was a class-action lawyer and sued Wang and Wang’s Computer Associates for artificially inflating revenues. The case settled in 2003.

So, which will come first, Barroway finalizing negotiations for a controlling share of the Coyotes or junior-aged Max Domi finding a regular spot in the team’s lineup?

Vote below in our poll about the future of the team.

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