The phone call came in Thursday morning. A local team had been sold.

Finally, you thought. It's about time Glen Taylor ditched the Timberwolves so a new owner can clean house.

But it wasn't the Wolves.

Well, then, thank goodness, you thought. It's about time the Twins were owned by someone willing to fund a championship team, someone who hadn't once offered to take a check in exchange for "contracting'' the franchise.

But it wasn't the Twins.

Well, then, maybe Vikings owner Zygi Wilf, instead of fighting for a stadium and making Los Angeles his text-message BFF, has decided it's more fun to be a Giants fan and is heading back to Jersey.

But it wasn't the Vikings.

No, what happened Thursday was that the Wild, the most stable pro sports franchise in town with the possible exception of the Swarm, was sold by its current stable and successful owner.

Bob Naegele sold the Wild to a guy who promises to be just as stable and maybe even a little more aggressive.

If a sale was inevitable, and it was, this is the best news Wild fans could receive. It's also the least dramatic news that could happen in terms of a local franchise being sold to someone whom Minnesotans can't identify as One Of Us.

Naegele not only made a huge profit on this deal, he did so responsibly, selling to Wisconsin native Craig Leipold, who has no motivation to dramatically change the way the Wild operates.

Naegele and his investors took financial risks in trying to bring the NHL back to the Twin Cities. Those risks were rewarded by a state-of-the-art building, guaranteed sellouts, passionate fan support and a dramatic rise in the value of the franchise.

Now Naegele is cashing in, which is his prerogative, and Leipold has traded in his starter franchise for a McMansion, which he should view as a privilege.

Leipold previously owned the Nashville Predators. When corporate support for the team dwindled, he lost lots of money. He sold the Preds and began looking for a new team. In the Wild, he hit the mother lode.

This franchise, made successful by the still-pristine arena, brilliant marketing and enough on-ice success to keep fans interested, is as close as any outside the NFL to being recession-proof.

Leipold should embrace the medical school mantra: First Do No Harm.

That was Naegele's strength once the franchise got on its feet -- not screwing up a good thing. Sounds easy, but it's all too rare among owners.

People rich and successful enough to buy pro sports teams often struggle to find the right combination of patience and aggressiveness when competing in a league full of their peers.

Taylor is a self-made billionaire who couldn't help signing Joe Smith under the table and can't bring himself to fire his buddy Kevin McHale. How can he be so shrewd in one world and so blind in another? Hard to answer, but there it is.

Pohlad is a self-made billionaire who earned the only positive PR in his life when his Twins won two World Series and negotiated a publicly-funded stadium, yet he's balked at spending money like many of his less wealthy peers. How can he not see the value in pursuing another title? Hard to say, but there it is.

Wilf is a self-made billionaire whose tenure with the Vikings has resembled someone stumbling around in a dark room looking for a light switch.

As for the Wild, the only immediate intrigue Leipold will inject into the atmosphere at the X is how his aggressiveness will dovetail with General Manager Doug Risebrough's philosophy of patience.

Otherwise, it was as uneventful a day as you'll ever see when a pro sports franchise changes hands. That speaks well of Naegele, and Leipold, and the state of the Wild.

Jim Souhan can be heard Sundays from 10 a.m.-noon on AM-1500 KSTP. • jsouhan@startribune.com