Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 06/21/13 at 02:47 AM ET
Via Sportsnet's Chris Nichols, about a year ago, the Minnesota Wild and their press corps were assuring the hockey world that the NHL's "flyover country" (quite the misnomer for anyone who's had to catch a connecting flight through MSP airport) would in fact become a player destination thanks to the double signings of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, and that the Wild had such an overabundance of elite NHL prospects that a youngish team would begin a half-decade or more of Cup contention with a strong 2012-2013 season...
Albeit after and only after owner Craig Leipold reacquired a chunk of Parise and Suter's salaries as one of Gary Bettman's point men during the owners' lockout.
On Thursday evening, Leipold spoke with the Minneapolis Star-Tribune's Michael Russo, and here's part of a much longer Q and A:
Q: Now that you’ve had time to reflect, how do you look back on [the season]?
A: I would say success. Clearly moved forward, got better [but] feel a little empty. I feel like we didn’t accomplish what I thought we had the ability to do. We made the playoffs and that’s great. But there’s a feeling like we didn’t quite get to the next level.
Q: You mentioned that empty feeling. Does that come from the financial commitment you made?
A: The business side, we were great. Yes, the lockout cost us money. It cost every team money in the short term. Going forward, we’re going to be seeing the benefits of that financial investment. 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.
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