New investor-led group pursuing Coyotes deal

The Pastor family has a history of saving hockey franchises. In the

1950s, there was talk of moving the American Hockey League’s Buffalo

Bison to another city before Ruby, Al and Sam Pastor stepped in to

purchase the team and keep it in Buffalo to post Calder Cup

championships in 1963 and 1970 as well as runners-up finishes in 1955,

1959 and 1962.

“Hockey’s been in the family for about

three generations,” said Sam’s grandson, Darin Pastor, “ever since my

grandfather and his two brothers kept the team where it

belonged.”

If you’re not familiar with Darin Pastor,

you’re not alone. Until recently, the NHL, the Coyotes and their

respective ownership suitors hadn’t heard of the Buffalo-area native.

But through a mass press release to multiple media outlets from his PR

firm, KCD Public Relations, the 42-year-old Pastor threw his hat in the

ring Friday in a bid to buy the long-ownerless Phoenix

franchise.

Pastor is the founder and CEO of Irvine,

Calif.-based Capstone Affluent Strategies, which has offices in 11

markets and provides wealth management through asset management,

retirement and estate planning.

Capstone Affluent

Strategies began when six advisers left Prudential Securities with about

$450 million in assets in October of 2012 to join LPL Financial.

Capstone’s LPL connection could be significant since LPL is the largest

organization of independent financial advisers in the U.S., with roughly

$353 billion in advisory and brokerage

assets.

Pastor was ranked as the top-producing senior

investment manager in 2009, 2010 and 2012 and has also served as

managing director of Prudential Insurance Company of America and senior

vice president and senior investment manager at JPMorgan Chase &

Co. He described his current group of Coyotes investors as “talented

municipal financing veterans,” which he thinks could be a plus in

negotiating an arena lease agreement with the City of

Glendale.

Pastor said he first decided to pursue the

club about six months ago but wanted to make sure he could secure the

financing — “dot all the I’s and cross all the T’s” — before moving

forward.

“I’ve been watching this play out, and it

seemed like some really good people had been involved trying to get this

deal done,” he said. “It’s a great franchise and they’ve done very well

— especially last year. It would be a shame to push a western team off

to the east. Phoenix is a great metropolitan area, a great market, but

this franchise has been bruised and battered.

“Hopefully, we can work with all these different

interests and make this happen.”

Pastor first

approached Coyotes president and COO Mike Nealy about the sale, but he

intends to “reach out simultaneously to the NHL and Glendale on

Monday.”

Pastor’s group is the second new group to

come forward this week, following the news that Ice Edge Holdings

founder Anthony LeBlanc had joined forces with AltaCorp Capital chairman

and CEO George Gosbee in a bid to buy the

team.

Pastor said his intent is to keep the team in

Glendale, adding, “this is a long-term commitment.” At the same time,

when asked if there would be an out clause in the deal that would allow

the team to relocate at some point if it couldn’t right its financial

ship, he acknowledged, “You have to protect your long-term interests. I

think we have to kind of roll up our sleeves and participate before I

can answer that more directly, but you have to keep your options

open.”

Pastor declined to name any of the investors

with whom he’s working, but he did say none has been involved in prior

attempts to purchase the franchise.

He has seen the

Coyotes play numerous times, most recently in their two-game series in

Los Angeles last week at Staples Center.

“The product

is good now with some great players, some great front-office people and

a great coach,” he said. “They fight every game like it’s a playoff

match. It’s a testament to the people in the organization that they’ve

been able to create such a quality product under so much

strain.”

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