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Coyotes owner disputes relocation rumors, scale of losses

George Gosbee, Gary Bettman, Anthony LeBlanc

It’s true that IceArizona plans to sell 51% of the team to Andrew Barroway, but they want to make it clear that they aren’t doing this because times are bad, per FOXSports’ Craig Morgan, the Arizona Republic’s Sarah McLellan, and our Jason Brough.

Over the course of a conference call following the announced sale, CEO and co-owner Anthony LeBlanc disputed the scale of the Coyotes’ reported losses, including the New York Post’s claim that the team lost $24 million over the first year under its new ownership. That being said, LeBlanc conceded that the Coyotes have lost money and will stay in the red this season. The hope is that they become profitable by their third season.

How much money they lose is particularly noteworthy because they have an out-clause in their arena lease deal that can be activated if their losses over the first five years reach $50 million. LeBlanc confirmed that the out-clause will remain intact after the sale, but IceArizona has repeatedly stated its commitment to Glendale. LeBlanc also said he “would be very surprised” if the clause was triggered. Additionally, IceArizona never discussed the possibility of relocating with Barroway.

Assuming the NHL’s Board of Governors approves the sale, LeBlanc will stay on as the team’s president, but Barroway will assume the titles of Chairman and Governor from George Gosbee.

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