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Arizona Coyotes building for long-term success, not a quick fix

Despite the addition of Andrew Barroway, the Coyotes are taking a long-term approach to building the roster.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

When new Arizona Coyotes majority owner Andrew Barroway was  introduced on Friday, a majority of the focus centered on the business side of the team. However, Barroway's addition to the ownership group is a vital component to how the on-ice roster will be built going forward.

The Coyotes sit with the fourth-worst record in the NHL at 15-19-4 38 games into the 2014-15 season. While some see Barroway, and his financial backing, as a season-saver, the organization is taking a long-term approach.

"I think the team has had a rough start to the year," Barroway said. "I think there is a good nucleus of young players. I think we're going to continue to build this thing long-term. We have some good prospects coming up and we want to build it and build it the right way and we want to be smart about it."

Drafting well, developing players and finding the right fits on the NHL squad are paramount to sustaining long-term success. All issues cannot be resolved overnight, especially the ones the current crop of Coyotes have.

"There's no quick fixes here right now," general manager Don Maloney said. "This hockey team -- we've dug ourselves in this position that we're in. It has nothing to do with salary or cap or anything, it's about player performance, our assessments of the players going forward.

"So, I think what I'm encouraged about my discussions with (Barroway) is the long-term view we have of the team, the game, where the game is going and what we have to do to have success. So, any knee-jerk, quick fix that might give us another five points in the standings -- that's not going to happen."

The ultimate goal is to win the Stanley Cup and Barroway said he would not rest until he brings the Cup to Arizona.

"It's not going to be easy to build a championship, a Stanley Cup winner here," Barroway said. "But I think, I hope, you can see from my (attitude) that I'm doing this for the right reasons and we're not going to quit."

Barroway's addition does bring added financial flexibility to the Coyotes. But again, that flexibility will be used with an eye toward the future, rather than immediate change.

"I think you look around the league and it's a hard league to change and get better on the fly immediately," Maloney said. "So even if there were an influence of X amount of dollars, we're looking at everything long-term."

That sentiment was echoed by Coyotes CEO Anthony LeBlanc, as all involved believe that is how to build a successful franchise.

As part of the deal, Barroway and the rest of IceArizona will invest an unspecified amount of money back into the franchise, as opposed to paying off debt, loans, etc. As to where that money goes, most will go to payroll while some goes back into maintaining Gila River Arena.

"We've put a lot of money into the arena over the offseason; we have plans to do so (again)," LeBlanc said. "It's a wonderful facility but it's 10 years old, not a lot has happened to it.

"Running a hockey team, of course, everything is in regards to the players and the team and the performance, but it's also about the game experience for your fans and ensuring your corporate sponsors that it's the right investment to put their money into. So, we will continue to do that, but I think it's fair to say that the majority of the investment will continue to flow back towards (Maloney's) P and L, as they say."

According to Barroway, Maloney and head coach Dave Tippett are major parts of the team's future plans.

While the Coyotes are likely to miss the playoffs for the third season in a row, the future is bright both on and off the ice.