- Associated Press - Saturday, October 11, 2014

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - George Gosbee lost two of his official titles in the agreement to sell majority interest in the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes to Andrew Barroway, and he’s just fine with that.

Gosbee went from from being chairman, governor and co-owner to just co-owner of the franchise, with Barroway taking over as governor and chairman after buying 51 percent of IceArizona, the partnership that purchased the Coyotes last year and kept it from moving to another city.

Gosbee, whose new role was announced Friday, promises that relocation is not an option for the organization. He also said Barroway, a hedge fund manager who previously tried to buy the New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils, sought to buy 100 percent of the Coyotes before an agreement for the majority share was reached.

“He’s coming in now with a group of partners that understand hockey,” Gosbee told reporters before Arizona took on the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night. “There’s no noticeable changes (in the franchise) other than we have a lot more financial flexibility.”

The initial investment from Barroway will be matched by the other ownership partners, said Gosbee, who plans to remain very involved in running the team.

“He’s going to be governor and chairman, and that’s good for him,” Gosbee said. “I get to enjoy a lot more hockey now.”

Gosbee said the team will probably lose money again this season, but hopes to turn a profit starting next year.

“Things that we said, that we thought were going to happen when the rest of the world was doubting us,” Gosbee said when asked what attracted Barroway to club ownership. “Contrarian investing is always the best type of investing.”

Selling every stake in the club was on the table, but a tax issue forced a restructuring of the financing, Gosbee said, and 51 percent was agreed upon.

“We’re protected by a lot things,” Gosbee said of the other owners. “Fifty-one percent doesn’t give you a hall pass to do whatever you want. It’s a partnership.”

As for possible relocation, if it doesn’t benefit the other 29 owners and ownerships groups in the NHL, it won’t happen, Gosbee said. He cited the inflated values of expansion franchises, the parity in the league and the good financial health of all the clubs.

“The model’s working. That’s what we’re counting on,” Gosbee said.

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