Lites said: “Tom is fiercely competitive and did whatever it took to win a championship and we had unbelievable success.
“We won the President’s Trophy twice and have been to two Stanley Cup finals. We won the championships in 1999 and were runners-up in 2000.
“He would spend whatever it takes – what he needs to be successful.
“We have a salary cap in our league now. But, before then, Mr Hicks’ spending was in the top four or five in the league – probably spending more than he should have.
“Tom will now spend whatever Rafa Benitez feels he needs to become competitive.”