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Let’s all feel special because the Suter-and-Parise signings are ‘paying off’ for the Wild

Given that 1. One Craig Leipold's pals in the media penned a set of "feeler" articles stating that he would not be out-bid for Ryan Suter and Zach Parise's services, given that 2. Leipold signed the players to lockout-proof contracts and then complained about player costs hampering his business, while he played one of the pivotal owners' roles during the third owners' lockout, and given that 3. the Pioneer Press's Charley Walters posited what is sure to be the first of several, "Leipold won't be out-bid on Vanek, either" not-quite-collusion "feelers"...

I'm not exactly a fan of the warm fuzzies written about a man who spent $196 million on two players and then decided to lament the spending practices of the other guys...

But the "warm fuzzies" continue to flow, and the Star-Tribune's Patrick Reusse spoke with Leipold about the concept that signing Suter and Parise was a community as well as a business decision:

“Absolutely, it was a business decision, and it has turned into an incredible decision for us,’’ Leipold said. “It has completely reversed all the trends. Ticket sales, sponsorships, merchandise … everything was trending in the wrong direction, and it had been for a number of years.

“To say signing Zach and Ryan was a shot in the arm understates the situation. Those signings immediately turned our franchise around. And it wasn’t just the community seeing our commitment. It was players all around the league looking at Minnesota and saying, ‘That franchise wants to win,’ and maybe wanting to be part of it some day.’’

The reaction of fans and corporations came so quickly that Leipold said, “At first, we were overwhelmed. We certainly thought it would be a positive for us, but we never envisioned the pop that occurred right away. It was fantastic.’’

That Fourth of July was on Wednesday. I said to Leipold: “Traditionally, your timing couldn’t have been worse. Everyone who could afford a season-ticket down payment was on a five-day weekend ‘at the lake.’ ’’

Leipold laughed again and said, “I’ve heard stories about people sitting on the cabin porch, and all of a sudden they hear someone screaming with joy, and the message travels across the lake, ‘The Wild signed BOTH Parise and Suter.’’’

Reusse continues, talking about Leipold's beloved chocolate Lab named Stanley. Woo.

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: craig+leipold, minnesota+wild, ryan+suter, thomas+vanek, zach+parise

Comments

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The signing accomplished a lot in the short term for Leipold and the Wild.  It was a shift in perception that he desperately needed with that club; however, we’ll see how it looks over the long haul as these contracts could prove to be a big burden over time.  Go ahead and go big on Vanek, Leipold, and enjoy what that does to your bottom six.

As a wings fan, I’m glad they didn’t lock into two guys for that term.  A concussion, a knee injury, - hell, any injury where the player can come back, but not perform like he used to could be catastrophic.  Not to mention early retirement counts against the cap.  It’s one thing with Z, but the Wild didn’t develop these guys…

Posted by nolan33 on 05/08/14 at 01:28 AM ET

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Go ahead and go big on Vanek, Leipold, and enjoy what that does to your bottom six.

Two things:
1) Chicago seems to be doing all right having big signings up top and cheap bottom six players.
2) The have Heatley’s $7.5M coming off the books, so they can afford to give Vanek the world and not affecting their roster much.
Oh, and a third thing: if they spend their money on actual top six players then they may be able to justify having some turnover in their bottom six rather than overpaying to keep their replaceable players.

Posted by Garth on 05/08/14 at 07:57 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

That “pop” Leipold speaks of would have come earlier had he not locked the players out on the grounds that they accepted the compensation offered by Leipold and the other owners.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 05/08/14 at 08:03 AM ET

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When did Minn become this “players resort”?? When the fu*k did the Wild become the franchise to play for? What gives? As a wings fan I don’t really mind they missed out on Parise.. I am still bitter about not clinching Suter for long term. As I’ve stated in many of my posts, we should have offered Suter whatever the fu*k he wanted… 9 mil a year seems fine to me…

Posted by Pasha1277 on 05/08/14 at 09:03 AM ET

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9 mil a year seems fine to me…

He made 12 million last year and this year and will make 11 next year. 

Also, it’s pretty clear that Parise and Suter were going together, and seems pretty clear that it was Parise who was steering the ship, so chances are he was never coming to Detroit.

Of course, if the rumours that Detroit had the lowest initial offer are true, that couldn’t have helped.

Posted by Garth on 05/08/14 at 09:21 AM ET

Primis's avatar

I guess it depends on the goal.  If the goal is to make the playoffs reliably, mission probably accomplished.

If the goal is to win anything more, they’re not there and I’m not sure if they can get there.

Posted by Primis on 05/08/14 at 10:14 AM ET

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Great points Garth.  It’ll be interesting to see what Vanek ends up with $-wise.  I just think at some point, teams with these huge contracts are gonna be top heavy.  Chicago has played their cards quite well - which pains me to say- but it’s true.  If Minnie can be so adept I will tip my cap.

Posted by nolan33 on 05/08/14 at 11:57 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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