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Coyotes are ‘well aware that our spending needs to rise’

Florida Panthers v Arizona Coyotes

GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 05: Antoine Vermette #50 of the Arizona Coyotes celebrates with teammates Michael Stone #26, Oliver Ekman-Larsson #23, Anthony Duclair #10 and Alex Tanguay #40 after his third period goal against the Florida Panthers at Gila River Arena on March 5, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

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Just because the Arizona Coyotes have embraced analytics doesn’t mean they’re ignoring the good ol’ power of the dollar.

If the Coyotes are going to win a Stanley Cup one day, they understand it won’t come cheap.

“The management staff has faith that the current ownership group is going to do whatever it takes to have an all-around better team on the ice,” the club’s new director of hockey ops, Gary Drummond (also a co-owner), told Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.

“As that evolves we’re well aware that our spending needs to rise to, realistically, the midpoint (of the NHL) or higher. There’s absolutely no way, long-term, that you can be competitive at the low end of the payroll. It doesn’t work.”

And that’s why the Coyotes need to strike an arena deal that works for them. Whether it’s moving back downtown, or somewhere else in the East Valley, the one thing their new home has to do is increase revenues.

Drummond called a new arena a “definite cornerstone of our long-term plan,” and added that “we are extremely optimistic such will happen.”

The Coyotes have said they’d be “shocked” if they don’t make an arena announcement sometime before the draft on June 24, and that they have “every intention of leaving Glendale as soon as practicable.”

Related: ‘Any idiot’ can spend to the cap: Melnyk