Wild Owner Craig Leipold "Terribly Disappointed" In Team's Early Playoff Exit
Wild Owner Craig Leipold yesterday said he was "terribly disappointed" by the team exiting the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the first round, adding the team in the postseason "took a step back, and we never expected that," according to Michael Russo of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. The Wild finished second in the Western Conference standings but won just one game in their first round series against the Blues. Leipold: "I’m not over it. Not over it. I watch these games now and go, 'That could be us.'" He added, "I’m not satisfied where we are. ... We didn’t think that was going to happen, so it’s causing us to think, 'What do we need to do?' ... There’s some issues that we need to address, and we will. But I’m not disappointed with our team. I’m disappointed with how we ended the season." Russo notes the Wild have made the playoffs five consecutive years but have not advanced past the second round. Meanwhile, Leipold said he “would not be disappointed if we were to address (the current playoff format at the league level) and take a look at it. But I’m not aware of any movement of that happening." Leipold also said that he "hopes the NHL adds a 32nd franchise via expansion." Leipold: "I would expect to, but I don’t think anything is really happening as we speak" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 5/18).
DON'T LOOK BACK IN ANGER: Leipold said that he is "'happily surprised' by the excitement generated in Nashville by the Predators, the club he helped enter the NHL nearly 20 years ago." Leipold said that "seeing the support in a nontraditional market for the Predators has been 'pretty cool to watch.'" Leipold "sold his stake" in the Predators in '07 and bought the Wild in '08 (AP, 5/17).