Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/18/11 at 11:17 AM ET
from Bruce Brothers of the Pioneer Press,
The swagger is back, Wild owner Craig Leipold says.
Six months ago, Leipold was hurting. There was little spark surrounding the NHL franchise he had purchased 2-1/2 years earlier, a team that finished outside the playoffs for the third consecutive season while Xcel Energy Center attendance slipped.
Typically more comfortable in the background, Leipold nearly disappeared in March. Numerous requests for interviews were rejected.
“At end of the year, I didn’t want to talk to anybody,” he explained recently. “There was nothing I could add to anything.”
As Wild training camp opened at the X this weekend, however, Leipold’s optimism and enthusiasm have returned.
“I feel good,” he said in a free-flowing preseason interview with no off-limit topics. “We have new players. We feel like we’ve got a little swagger here. There’s just a different kind of excitement, and everybody in the office feels it.”
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