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Minnesota’s message to the fans says they’re pro-ownership

Sep 16, 2012, 4:26 PM EDT

Craig Leipold Getty Images

While many teams are reaching out in a big way to fans with their messages explaining the lockout, the Minnesota Wild are doing things a little different.

The Wild posted their message to the fans with one note in particular that plainly points out exactly where they fall in this labor struggle.

We appreciate the continued support of our fans, business partners, community partners and employees as we work through the challenges caused by the expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and potential delay in the start of this most promising season.

At the same time, we support the League’s position and trust our NHL negotiating team is looking out for the long-term interests of the game. Even as NHL games may be missed, the Wild will continue to support the great sport of hockey at all levels through our grass roots partnerships with amateur hockey associations.

It should be obvious that the teams themselves are on the owners side of the argument, but the Wild (so far) are the only ones to come out and say it.

Team owner Craig Leipold has been prominently involved in negotiations for the NHL and while he made the biggest splash of the summer signing both Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, he wants to see teams get a bigger piece of the pie financially.

  1. sjsharks66 - Sep 16, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    What a joke. The huge over paid signings and now this? Minnesota should sit in a corner and keep quiet until this is resolved. Not come out like this.

    • smillr58 - Sep 16, 2012 at 5:56 PM

      Hey Pole smoker, shark smoker… Great comment, what are you ten? Are you still in grade school??? Get a life… Grow up PS’r.

      • trick9 - Sep 16, 2012 at 6:01 PM

        Wild should be one of the teams that mostly want to avoid the lockout. I mean whether or not there is one, they will pay 52 million between now and July 1st next year to Parise and Suter.

      • hockeyflow33 - Sep 16, 2012 at 10:15 PM

        Maybe you missed when they signed two guys to $200m worth of contracts while complaining about how they’ve been losing money

      • lordfletcher - Sep 17, 2012 at 2:06 AM

        I am willing to bet Craig new a lockout would happen one way or another before signing Parise and Suter. He was willing to pay the $$$ no matter, just like several other GM’s / owners.

        Craig has been a great owner here in MN and I am glad he is here. Now if he would just lower ticket prices a bit and make beer’s under $7.50, I’d say he would be my new best friend.

        I get the frustration some fans around the league might see in this, but Mr. Leipold is just trying to be a good owner to his clients / fans / team in the best way he knows how. His level of communication has been top notch as a local fan of the Wild and I am very happy with him writing the checks.

  2. paperkid96 - Sep 16, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    Of course you support ownership. Because you made a bad business decision and need to fix it. The problem is and what makes it unethical is that it was your plan all along.

    Its a cap. You don’t have to spend to it and then you can have more pie.

    • smillr58 - Sep 16, 2012 at 5:57 PM

      Uhhhh uuuuhhhhhh uuhhhhh… Eat your own

      • m1lla7 - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:38 AM

        Nice educated response.

      • elvispocomo - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:51 AM

        Leipold, is that you?

  3. sharksfan754 - Sep 16, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    So the wild owner mister “nobody’s gonna out spend me for parise (and suter)” believes he’s paying his players too much…

    • smillr58 - Sep 16, 2012 at 5:58 PM

      another shark smoker… LOSER

    • lordfletcher - Sep 17, 2012 at 2:13 AM

      but.. but… others were willing to “out spend” him.

      I see your point, BUT you may want to get your facts straight, and or try being less of a D B A G

      • sharksfan754 - Sep 17, 2012 at 7:52 PM

        I know other teams offered more, but if you how can you not see the irony of this? I know Leipold didn’t make the comments directly, but still we all get the point. Oh and how was my response being a dbag?

  4. spongebobsportspants - Sep 16, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    This guy needs to shut his damn mouth. A genuine hypocrite SOB.

    • smillr58 - Sep 16, 2012 at 5:58 PM

      Sponge bob pants smoker

      • windmiller4 - Sep 16, 2012 at 6:01 PM

        Dude, don’t you think its time to grow up?

  5. smillr58 - Sep 16, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    Do you people even think anyone gives a @hit what any of you pole smokers think????????? LOL You (very very very few) mean absolutely nothing… Curl up a cry

    • tealwithit - Sep 16, 2012 at 8:26 PM

      How much have you had to drink today?

    • phillyphanatic76 - Sep 16, 2012 at 8:26 PM

      You obviously do since you’ve commented on every post. Calling everyone a “pole smoker” just makes you look like very unintelligent. You’re a joke. Grow up.

  6. swedeg - Sep 16, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    Leipold is a great owner who wants to win. We were going to take too long to rebuild, so he signs two of the league’s best. The players should just suck it up, take the inevitable 50-50, and we’ll just get on with it

    • lordfletcher - Sep 17, 2012 at 2:16 AM

      The players should not be forced into taking any deal they do not want to… that said, they do need to come down a bit and the owners need to be a BIT more practical.

      I would guess 53/47 is a more than fair deal for both sides for the next 7-10 years. If they owners don’t let this drag out too far, the NHL might gain more popularity over the next few seasons and could see higher profits in TV deals / ratings.

  7. scionofflame - Sep 16, 2012 at 6:42 PM

    As a Nashville Predators fan, we have a history with Craig. It doesn’t surprise me that it’s the message from the Wild that they support the owners. It’s always been about Craig, after all.

  8. danphipps01 - Sep 16, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    Pro-getting Bettman to absolve them of this summer’s spending obligations, more like. Help! I don’t want to pay my employees what I’ve promised them in writing!

  9. blomfeld - Sep 16, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    Craig Leipold = Cro-Magnon Man

    How anyone could listen to an asshole like this for even this 5 seconds is beyond me ? The idiot gives 197 million to a couple of turncoats who “at best” will only make the Wild a playoff contender for maybe 2-3 years ? What a complete joke ! The stupid imbecile could have bought the entire Phoenix franchise & Luongo for the same amount on money or even less ! Yet now he wants people to “seriously” listen him ? Go to hell Leipold ! … people like you “are” the problem …

    • lordfletcher - Sep 17, 2012 at 10:28 AM

      so anyone that was willing to give Parise and Suter contracts are considered A-holes?

      so 25 other GM’s / Owners…OHHH okay.

      PFft! Idiot!

      • blomfeld - Sep 17, 2012 at 2:59 PM

        That’s right Einstein ! …

        regardless of whether it’s 25 other GM’s or 1000 other GM’s, the bottom line is that anyone who offers $200,000,000.00 to a couple of clowns like Parise & Suter is a grade A “bonafide” asshole ! … in fact, the people on “both” sides of these idiotic contracts are assholes ! … these people are 100% to blame for the mess we’re in today and therefore they should be called out for their shameless greed and selfishness … in a better world this situation would be remedied without further ado … the problem here however, is that these assholes can count on sheep like “you” to carry on with the status quo … so “baa baa baa” to you tough guy !

      • lordfletcher - Sep 17, 2012 at 4:32 PM

        Clever ramble, but worthless statements. I am shocked to see that you limited yourself from adding a bunch of ‘big boy’ words that only you and the other high IQ folk could comprehend around here.

        The owners / GM’s were making offers that would help their teams compete within the rules / finance terms allowed. Every human would have done the same in offering those deals or accepting.



  10. snowman218 - Sep 16, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    So, here’s my 3 cents, in regards to the Wild/NHL; with any business (or one that is struggling) knowing the market that your business is in you sometimes have to spend big $$$ to turn a profit in the long run. It’s hard not to believe this was the plan for Leipold trying to bolster the market share for the Wild in the NHL. Any other team that sent out offers (many higher then even the Wilds) to both Zach and Ryan had this same logic in mind, and obviously making their team better.

    Now, yes the whole “crying poor” thing (defiantly not a good choice of words by Craig); but take it from this side .. as for Leipold, what if he is on the negotiating committee fighting for the smaller market teams, wanting ALL the owners to agree to take responsibility for the ENTIRE league as a Corporation, and not just their team, doing this by spreading the wealth to ALL 30 teams .. In-turn growing revenue even more then what it would have been with the Current CBA.

    For the fact that the owners think that just by lowering the cap that this will fix all the problems .. well they already did that 7 years ago and that did help grow the league but, not every single team. Bettman saying that revenue sharing is not a Big Deal, well .. if every team had the same amount of money we wouldn’t be in this position would we. (It’s Owners vs. Owners here folks), they just think it’s them vs the Players.

    With this all aside, there is no other sport out there with the over all talent these NHL players have, let the boys back in the Rink and show their skill to the Entire Nation.

    • tealwithit - Sep 16, 2012 at 8:42 PM

      Agree with the first paragraph. Parise’s a hometown hero, and they couldn’t have gotten him without making it a package deal with Suter. Both are great players, and will undoubtedly improve the team (to what degree, I’m not sure). But most importantly, it was a move that made the fans happy.
      I do see the hypocrisy, but I’m guessing the owners are of the opinion that they shouldn’t HAVE to put up almost $200 mill if they want to land guys like Parise and Suter. That was their “fair market value” this summer, but it’s debatable whether they’re actually worth that much. Still, they’ll almost certainly benefit the team in more ways than one, and the Wild owners decided those benefits were worth asking the investors to put up big money.

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Sep 17, 2012 at 9:34 AM

      ^This. Also, one should also consider the fact that most of the teams with any on-ice and financial success are teams that have also spent money to get there. Spending money is obviously not the only reason for success *cough*BUFFALO*cough* but it makes a significant difference.

      Leipold is looking long-term and I highly doubt signing Parise and Suter was a knee-jerk reaction. I think working on lowering the players’ cut of HRR was his game plan before he made those signings this summer. I’m sure I’ll get some flack for this but I do think the owners have their points. I don’t blame the players for turning down the league’s offers thus far but at some point they’re both going to have to simply meet in the middle.

  11. rgledz - Sep 17, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    it amazes me how many people are jealous of Minnesota. Every time there’s a post about the Wild, a team they “could care less about”, there are the San Jose fans with their rich hockey history and background in lovely southern California. Followed by the Tampa fans and there vast knowledge of a game they didn’t know existed until they got a team. Then the Philly fans, who offered more money to Parise and Suter than the Wild(and now rip the Wild for how much they spent) did and now cry over spilled milk because they wanted to play in Minnesota in front of knowledgeable hockey fans instead of ingrates that throw batteries and snowballs at Santa, not to mention a city that has a holding cell in it’s football stadium because of the shear number of idiot fans that get arrested. Then the Preds fans, the spurned lovers who lost Suter, than had to pay a kings ransom just to keep their other defenseman from going to a real hockey town like NY or Detroit. Bring it on guys, we love it. Keep being jealous and we’ll keep enjoying it.

    • windmiller4 - Sep 17, 2012 at 1:10 AM

      as soon as i read the second sentence saying san jose is in southern california i knew this was gonna be a stupid comment…..

      • lordfletcher - Sep 17, 2012 at 10:41 AM

        I got a great kick out of this. Settle down (rgledz), let’s just be thankful that Parise and Suter came to MN. No need to bash everyone else for it unless you call each person out individually. Grouping everyone one together makes little to no sense.

      • blomfeld - Sep 17, 2012 at 3:03 PM

        San Jose may not be in southern California … but the Stanley Cup sure is ! :)

        GO KINGS GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        best hockey team in the world today !!!!!!!!!!

  12. greatminnesotasportsmind - Sep 17, 2012 at 2:46 AM

    It still amazes me how jealous fans from New Jersey and Nashville and other NHL teams are of the Wild landing Parise and Suter.

    With that said, I’m guessing Leipold signed off on the 13 year 98 million dollar deals knowing his position on the NHL side of the CBA negotiations. If the NHL can get the players to take rollback salaries, then this 13 year 98 million dollar deal they each got would be around 13 years 89.4 million or about 6.9 million a year. For a mid market team, that’s reasonable for 2 perinnal all-stars

  13. finfan88shark - Sep 17, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    Dear Zach and Ryan

    We lied to you, we never wanted to pay you the money or honor the contract length. You guys are just stupid pawns lol!

  14. bhawksrule - Sep 17, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    This is THE prime example of why NHL is a joke and we should invest our money elsewhere.

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