Souhan: Leipold goes to great lengths in trying to produce a winner

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 10, 2012 - 9:47 PM

The 13-year contracts that Zach Parise and Ryan Suter signed are long, but the Wild owner believes he's making a wise investment.

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bobbyespoJul. 10, 12 7:16 AM

Absolutely excellent column Souhan. You capture so much more of what marks the signing of Zack Parise and Ryan Suter as monumental, historical, and hopefully the new wave in the way professional athletes and team owners can arrive at mutually beneficial deals that carry a positive impact far beyond the field, court, or rink. Leipold has set a standard all other pro-sports team owners need to emulate while also demonstrating he is a man of his word when it comes to the fans. Parise and Suter demonstrated that taking “enough money” can bring broader success, satisfaction, and happiness than “more money” could ever buy. Far too often we have been reminded how the Wild management and coaching staffs have been influenced by the “Penguins model.” From here on out let others try to achieve the excellence of Leipold, Fletcher, Parise, Suter and the rest of the Wild nation! … and Souhan, please poke your nose into the hockey rink more often this season to share your keen insights and unique perspectives that are always reflected in your excellent writing on these pages.

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spector075Jul. 10, 12 8:21 AM

They haven't won a Stanley cup as of yet...Great signings though!!

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kay353Jul. 10, 1210:17 AM

Leipold = the anti-Pohlad. Wish the Twins were done with their pathetic season and that is was time again for Wild hockey!

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goalieguruJul. 10, 1212:39 PM

Will these guys play for 13 years in MN?? Probably not - too many variables in play but who knows, that's not the point though. These guys were going to get their big money, that's the way free agency works. There are some that say it was way too much. Well, if the Wild would NOT have offered enough to be competitive, this wouldn't have happened. In some ways, these acquisitions for the Wild are like playing the lottery for the rest of us. You have no chance of winning if you don't buy a ticket. I don't get hung up on the salaries. The revenues, gear sales, etc... all boil down to what's affordable for salaries and it sets the market. So, the players are getting what the market will bear. What's wrong with that?? Nothing, I say. What I care about is that when I pay my season ticket bill I know that there is more value there now then there has been in the past. It's a big statement towards what the ownership and front office stands for and how serious they are about their business. Yes, I said business, let's not dance around that. It's okay though because doing business the right way in sports means acquiring top talent to help you win. That's what drives customer satisfaction and profits. It's a nice problem to have!!!!!

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skeptikJul. 11, 1212:23 PM

Great article and some good comments. No one person can predict what the future will bring but Leopold, Fletcher and the Wild organization have stepped up and done what no other Minnesota sports organization has probably ever even considered. The act of pulling the trigger on a deal such as this has had the immediate result of infusing as much excitement in the local hockey/sports community as when the Wild were first introduced to Minnesota. Plus, these two young men seem to be as quality in character as you can ask for. There can be misgivings about obligating a franchise to contracts that are as long and expensive as these, in a sport as hazardous as NHL hockey is, however a franchise can also opt to keep it's head in the sand, not take any chances and continue on down the road to predictable mediocrity. The Wild have stepped up and have taken that chance much to the overwhelming delight of their fan base. And these fans are showing their excitement by spending money on tickets and merchandise. So in some small degree taking a chance is already showing a positive return. Right now, the question of if it will all was worth it can wait.

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