Wild Owner Says Team Ready To Reap The Financial Rewards Of Parise, Suter Signings
The lockout cost the Wild money this season, but Owner Craig Leipold said the business metrics were "great," according to Russo & Scoggins of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. The team spent $196M last offseason signing LW Zach Parise and D Ryan Suter, and Leipold said the team will see the "benefits of that financial investment ... going forward." Leipold: "The lockout was costly for the first year, but the ticket sales were incredible. The sponsors came back in droves. So we feel good about that and we achieved all our business objectives." He said it was doubtful the club would attempt to duplicate its moves in this year's free-agent market. He said, "I don’t know how we can. The cap situation certainly does limit us (the Wild has $6.2 million of cap space). The moves that we made last summer were strategic and long-term. No one can make those kind of splashes unless they just like to make splashes." Leipold noted the signings were made for two reasons: "making the team better and completely changing the image that the Wild have in this market." He said the image was one of complacency. Leipold said of fan perceptions: "The team was getting complacent, that we weren't building it fast enough. The prospects at the time, we think were good and as you recall, we were really selling that. But those prospects, that's three years from now and it wasn't going to be fast enough. So that's the reason we made the big splash" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 6/21).