Hartman: Wild owner Leipold likes team's direction

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 24, 2014 - 12:25 AM

If the squad reaches the second round of the playoffs it will turn a profit this season, he said.

hide

Wild owner Craig Leipold

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune file

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Wild owner Craig Leipold took over the team in 2008 and watched as it failed to reach the playoffs in his first four full seasons with the franchise and also dealt with losing money in most of those seasons, culminating in a report last year that the Wild had lost nearly $30 million in the 2012-13 season, even though it reached the playoffs.

But Leipold said that this season the team is regaining some of its financial footing and will easily turn a profit if it reaches the second round of the playoffs.

“If we can have a playoff run we’re going to be great,” Leipold. “This year was probably, I won’t say the most profitable year, but the least losing year that we have had. Our losses are getting small now. If we get into the second round we will be a profitable team. And if we continue to play like we’ve been playing, then next year our renewals are just fantastic, the best it has been in six years since I’ve been here. So I think we’re on the right track.”

There was some question if the rich contracts given to stars Zach Parise and Ryan Suter were partially to blame for the team having that big a loss last season, but Leipold said he not only has no regrets about the nearly $200 million he committed to those two players over the next 13 years but also believes that signing those types of players eventually will bring the team not only championships but profits.

“Their play is just fantastic; I would do it again,” he said. “In fact, I would imagine that many other owners, given the opportunity, would do it as well.

“There’s just no question they brought credibility to our program, other players want to come here, the fans recognize that we are committed to winning the Stanley Cup.”

Building success

The Wild’s 98 points this season tied for the second most in franchise history, and Leipold said that while the team had its struggles, he thinks the Wild is peaking at the right time.

“We had so many ups and downs,’’ he said. “It was frustrating at times, disappointing at times, euphoric at other times, but I think the way we played, the way we ended the season up with such a strong performance at the end, was really helping us into the playoffs.

“I think most importantly we have to play really well in this round. We have to be strong. We have to show that we deserve to be in this playoff. If we keep playing like we have been playing I feel good about our chances to get in the second round. I think more importantly we have to show ourselves and our fans that we are a perennial playoff team.”

And what about coach Mike Yeo’s future with the team?

“That will be Chuck’s decision,” Leipold said, referring to General Manager Chuck Fletcher. “I’m confident that if we keep winning there’s no question that Chuck will want to bring him back.”

In quickly looking forward to next season and the future of the team, Leipold said the salary cap situation is comfortable and he’s confident that a number of young players are just starting to scratch their potential.

“The salary cap we’re OK,” he said. “Marquee players, the two — Parise and Suter — continue to go down [in yearly salary]. Next year we’ll have some salaries that will be dropped off the team. We really think we’re going to be in a position to sign one more player, some key free agent to come in and maybe beef up our defense a little bit.”

Johnson on Cooke

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson spoke to the Denver Post about Wild defenseman Matt Cooke and what he thought of the play that sent his teammate, Tyson Barrie, off the ice for most likely the rest of the playoffs.

“What he’s done to guys’ careers speaks for itself. It’s disgusting, what he’s done in the past,” Johnson said of Cooke. “He might have cleaned up his game lately, but to lead with a knee like that against a guy like Tyson, or whoever, it was sickening to see.”

In other playoff news, former Gophers defenseman Paul Martin had two more assists for Pittsburgh in its 4-3 overtime loss to Columbus on Wednesday. That gives him eight assists on four sconsecutive two-assist games. He entered Wednesday third in NHL playoff scoring behind Colorado’s Paul Statstny and Nathan MacKinnon. … Former Gophers defenseman Mark Alt was among those recalled by the Philadelphia Flyers for the NHL playoffs. Alt finished with four goals and 22 assists in 75 games for Adirondack of the AHL, whose season ended Tuesday.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda 0 FINAL
Toronto - WP: D. Hutchison 2
Detroit - LP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Sale 6
Chicago Cubs - WP: F. Doubront 5 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: J. Masterson 1
Cincinnati - LP: A. Simon 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: V. Worley 3
Minnesota - K. Gibson 6:05 PM
Baltimore - C. Tillman
Philadelphia - J. Williams 6:10 PM
NY Mets - B. Colon
Miami - J. Cosart 6:10 PM
Atlanta - A. Harang
Boston - A. Webster 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - J. Odorizzi
Cleveland - T. Bauer 6:10 PM
Kansas City - J. Shields
Detroit - K. Ryan 6:10 PM
Chicago WSox - C. Bassitt
Texas - R. Ross Jr. 6:10 PM
Houston - S. Feldman
Colorado - T. Matzek 7:10 PM
Arizona - V. Nuno
Chicago Cubs - T. Wada 7:15 PM
St. Louis - M. Gonzales
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke 7:40 PM
San Diego - I. Kennedy
Milwaukee - M. Fiers 8:05 PM
San Francisco - J. Peavy
Oakland - J. Samardzija 8:05 PM
LA Angels - C. Rasmus
Washington - S. Strasburg 8:10 PM
Seattle - R. Elias
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
BYU 35 FINAL
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
UNLV 13 FINAL
Arizona 58
Penn State 26 FINAL
UCF 24
Troy 10 FINAL
UAB 48
(7) UCLA 28 FINAL
Virginia 20
Western Mich 34 FINAL
Purdue 43
(5) Ohio State 34 FINAL
Navy 17
Appalachian St 14 FINAL
Michigan 52
Ga Southern 23 FINAL
NC State 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Massachusetts 7
West Virginia 23 4th Qtr 2:05
(2) Alabama 33
Rice 17 FINAL
(17) Notre Dame 48
(10) South Dakota St 18 FINAL
(24) Missouri 38
Fla Atlantic 7 4th Qtr 0:00
(22) Nebraska 55
California 31 FINAL
Northwestern 24
Marshall 35 4th Qtr 2:15
Miami-Ohio 27
UC Davis 0 4th Qtr 2:55
(11) Stanford 45
Arkansas 21 Delayed 9:55
(6) Auburn 38
(16) Clemson 21 2nd Qtr 6:43
(12) Georgia 21
Liberty 7 2nd Qtr 9:26
(23) North Carolina 14
Ohio U 14 2nd Qtr 6:53
Kent State 7
Louisiana Tech 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(1) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(17) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 0 FINAL
Seattle 1
New England 3 FINAL
Toronto FC 0
Columbus 6:30 PM
Montreal
FC Dallas 7:30 PM
Chicago
Real Salt Lake 9:30 PM
San Jose
Portland 9:30 PM
Vancouver FC
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Chicago 6:00 PM
Indiana
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close