Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

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Wild owner Craig Leipold responds to Hockey News retraction

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild off-season news Updated: June 15, 2011 - 2:34 PM

On June 9, the Hockey News' Ken Campbell reported that Wild minority owner Philip Falcone was "expected" to be indicted by the Securities and Exchange Commission and that Wild majority owner Craig Leipold was in the process of building the capital nessessary to buy out Falcone's ownership.

The following day, the Hockey News disabled the link to the story and later that evening ran a brief retraction.

This morning, the Hockey News ran a longer retraction and apology on its web site, which can be found here and below:

The Hockey News deeply regrets and retracts the publication of its June 9, 2011 story entitled: "Source: Craig Leipold to acquire additional 40 percent of Minnesota Wild if minority owner Philip Falcone forced out."

The story was erroneous concerning the proceedings of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and the SEC's plans or decisions with respect to Mr. Falcone or his company, Harbinger. We were also incorrect as to Mr. Falcone's business plans and the potential sale of his minority ownership in the Wild and in stating that Mr. Falcone loaned Mr. Leipold the money with which he bought his interest in the Wild.

Our comparison of Mr. Falcone to other NHL team owners with legal problems was unfounded and wrong.

The parties mentioned in the story were not contacted to verify the information in the article prior to publication and we are sorry.

We apologize to Mr. Leipold, Mr. Falcone and our readers.

The story does not reflect the high journalistic standards applied by The Hockey News. Measures have been taken to ensure those standards continue to be upheld.

In an email this morning to the Star Tribune, Leipold said:

“I am so pleased The Hockey News is offering a full retraction and apologizing for their web article written by Ken Campbell late last week that included a number of gross inaccuracies regarding Wild minority owner Philip Falcone and his ownership stake.

The lack of journalistic integrity and responsibility displayed by Mr. Campbell is unacceptable. The story included a number of statements that were just completely false.

I’m not sure why Campbell did not contact Philip, myself or anyone from the Wild organization regarding any of these issues prior to publishing the story. In the future, we hope he uses better news judgment and verifies his facts before publishing a story. “

Craig Leipold

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