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Minnesota owner “disappointed” with rejected realignment

Jan 6, 2012, 8:31 PM EDT

Leipold AP

It didn’t take long for Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold to express displeasure with the NHLPA withholding consent for realignment. Upon learning the news, Leipold sent an email to Mike Russo of the Minnesota Star-Tribune expressing his disappointment:

“To say I am disappointed in the actions of the NHLPA to deny consent to implement realignment for next season is an understatement. Our fans were universally excited to be playing against midwestern teams in the previous old Norris Division.

“I’m disappointed for our fans, our employees and our players. It appears everyone wanted this to happen except the leaders of the players’ union. I pledge to Wild fans to continue to pursue this realignment plan as aggressively as possible.”

Leipold’s comments aren’t surprising, especially since the Wild were thought to be one of the “winners” of NHL realignment. Sportsnet’s John Shannon noted Minnesota (and Dallas) were the only teams in their divisions in the central time zone; both were pleased to cut down travel and make their televised road games start at more reasonable times.

  1. vanfoodman - Jan 6, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    A Republican whining about a unions getting uppity? Who’d of thought?

  2. rgledz - Jan 6, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    @vanfoodman

    Everything that he says is true, politics don’t have anything to do with it. The fact that most of the Wild home games are on at 9pm locally is a joke. When the Wild played Winnepeg in December, that was the first road game of the season that was in the central timezone. That’s insanity. Kids can’t watch games that don’t end until almost midnight. This is hockey country and the fan base would like to see there team play more than 1 period before they fall asleep. To not do this realignment is just a huge load all the way around. It makes sense and I for one am angry at the NHLPA for shooting this down. The fans make the league go and this is akin to spitting in our faces.

    • vanfoodman - Jan 6, 2012 at 10:18 PM

      Hey, I am not happy it about either, but this is the big leagues, it’s a ‘political’ move by the PA, just like it was when the league said they didn’t need the PA to do this. Realignment will happen, but the PA is just saying, ‘Uh, we have a stake in this, you can’t do it without us being involved in the process.’ It’s like a couple of heavyweights flexing their muscles before the big fight, which is what the CBA negotiation will be. This is just the second of many high profile postures that each party will be taking to unite their forces and damage the others reputation in the court of public opinion. Welcome to a high stakes game of chicken.

      • vanfoodman - Jan 6, 2012 at 10:26 PM

        Oh, and if you don’t think this statement of ‘disappointment’ was orchestrated by the league you’re kidding yourself. All parties involved have their PR departments working overtime planning strategies as the CBA winds down. Watch your local media to see who they’re aligned with as this progresses or shall we say, regresses.

  3. rgledz - Jan 6, 2012 at 11:50 PM

    @vanfoodman

    Let’s just hope that history doesn’t repeat itself in the form of a lockout. They need to get the Phoenix situation resolved, expand if they so desire (Quebec, Hamilton) and put the teams in the conference that they belong in. No hard feelings, we’re passionate about hockey and that’s a good thing.

    • vanfoodman - Jan 7, 2012 at 1:00 AM

      No hard feelings at all, I really wish our passion mattered to someone other than us. Please understand I respect your concerns but also realize this is a two way street. The union and owners each have their agendas and will both paint each other in the worst light possible to gain an edge in public opinion. That being said, in the end neither side cares one bit about you or I or what we think as long as we pay for the product.

  4. vanchuk - Jan 7, 2012 at 3:22 AM

    @vanfoodman and rgledz

    Jeeze, you guys are being waaaayy too civil about this. Where’s the childish name calling and nonsensical insults???

    This blog is dead to me…

    • vanfoodman - Jan 7, 2012 at 4:00 AM

      Thank you and now may I quote The Temptations from Ball of Confusion:

      Eve of destruction, tax deduction, city inspectors, bill collectors,
      Mod clothes in demand, population out of hand, suicide, too many bills,
      Hippies moving to the hills. People all over the world are shouting, ‘End the war.’

      And the band played on.

      And the band played on.

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