SBD/April 24, 2014/Franchises

Wild's Leipold Says Franchise Could Turn Small Profit With Playoff Series Win

Leipold said '13-14 will be the Wild's "least losing" season since he took over in '08
Wild Owner Craig Leipold dealt with losing money since taking over the franchise in '08, including $30M in '12-13, but said that the team this season is "regaining some of its financial footing and will easily turn a profit if it reaches the second round of the playoffs," according to Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. Leipold said, "If we can have a playoff run we’re going to be great. This year was probably, I won’t say the most profitable year, but the least losing year that we have had. Our losses are getting small now. If we get into the second round we will be a profitable team. And if we continue to play like we’ve been playing, then next year our renewals are just fantastic, the best it has been in six years since I’ve been here. So I think we’re on the right track." Hartman notes there were questions whether the contracts given to LW Zach Parise and D Ryan Suter during the '12 offseason were "partially to blame for the team having that big a loss last season." But Leipold said that he "not only has no regrets" about the nearly $200M he committed to those two players, but that he "believes that signing those types of players eventually will bring the team not only championships but profits." He added of Parise and Suter, "Their play is just fantastic; I would do it again. In fact, I would imagine that many other owners, given the opportunity, would do it as well. There’s just no question they brought credibility to our program, other players want to come here, the fans recognize that we are committed to winning the Stanley Cup" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 4/24).
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