Skip to main content

Wild owner Craig Leipold vows team isn't rebuilding, will be aggressive in free agency

Craig Leipold basically promised to land a big free agent this summer.

After trading away core players Nino Neiderreiter, Charlie Coyle and Mikael Granlund, Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold sent a video message to season ticket holders urging them to hold firm in their commitment to the team and trust that big things are coming. 

“With all the moves that we made in the last 10 days, we’re not done,” Leipold said in the video, which was recorded on Feb. 25 following the NHL's trade deadline.  

“We plan to make some noise this summer. Just so we all understand, this is not a rebuild. Look at our team: we are ready to play right now. We are building on the fly, and that's kind of our mantra right now." 

Minnesota has won four in a row, largely due to improved goaltending from Devan Dubnyk and a speedy spark from newcomers Ryan Donato and Kevin Fiala, whom the Wild acquired in trades involving Coyle and Granlund. 

"We have now more cap space for next year, we're excited about that," said Leipold, hinting at the $19+ million the Wild can now put toward resigning key players like Donato and Fiala, in addition to being bigger players in free agency. 

"The savings that we have received in the last 10 days will be used to acquire other assets.”

Four straight wins have pushed the Wild up to 68 points, in control of the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference but only a tiebreaker ahead of ninth-place Colorado (68 points) and one point behind seventh-place Dallas (69 points). 

It's clear that Wild brass is pushing a youth movement down fans' throats. General manager Paul Fenton raved about the future core of the team consisting of six players age 22 or younger, and Leipold did the same in his video to fans. 

The six: Joel Erikkson Ek, Jordan Greenway, Luke Kunin, Donato, Fiala and Kirill Kaprizov. 

“We have this great core of young players who almost all of them were first-round players," said Leipold. "And then we have Kirill Kaprizov, who is playing in Russia. He will be here probably in another year, so we’re in the process right now of doing some really exciting things with our team and the direction we’re going in, and I think we have a lot to look forward to.”

Leipold closed his four-minute video talking about the Stanley Cup. 

“Rest assured, we are committed to winning," he said. "All of our decisions are based on one thing, and that’s how we bring a Stanley Cup to this market."

Next Up

Wild

Wild flip the script, dominate Blackhawks

Ryan Hartman scored twice to earn the first game of a back-to-back.

Hopkins Basketball

Hopkins suffers rare loss to No. 1 ranked Sidwell Friends

The Royals held their own in a battle of the nation's best.

argue-wertman booking photos

Charges: 2 teens responsible for violent carjacking spree across Twin Cities

They face a combined 31 felony counts, all tied to carjackings and related crimes.

rep nolan west mn house

MN rep. says he was 'assaulted' at activist group's public meeting

The Republican said a man grabbed his arms and yanked him from the room.

Screen Shot 2022-01-20 at 12.56.52 PM

What were the 'bizarre things' seen in Minnesota's sky?

The mysterious streaks were not UFOs and they weren't pieces of an asteroid.

icicles, freezing weather, cold weather

Booming noises in the night could be frost quakes

The loud sounds are most likely to happen during the middle of the night.

coronavirus, coronavirus test, covid-19

Free COVID testing site to open in St. Paul for 3 weeks

The federal testing site comes as demand for testing remains high.

Reyel Simmons photo 1 - complaint - crop

MN TikToker accused of faking federal agent life pleads guilty

He told his 10,000 followers he was a Homeland Security agent — authorities say it was a lie.

Wilf

Report: Vikings request second interview with 2 GM candidates

Ryan Poles of the Chiefs and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah of the Browns.

Amaya Battle

Hopkins takes on No. 1 team in the country on ESPNU Friday

The game will feature a pair of top recruits in the Class of 2022.

st. paul federation of educators - teachers

Educators in Minneapolis, St. Paul could strike amid contract negotiations

Teachers and support staff are demanding smaller class sizes, mental health support and better pay.

Related

Wild owner wants to center the team

Craig Leipold says the NHL should realign the Wild into the Central Division. Minnesota is the only team from the Central time zone that plays in the Northwest Division. Leopold says the added cost of travel is a strain on the team and fans are deprived of regional rivalries.

Mikko Koivi, Kevin Fiala

Fiala scores twice to lead Wild over Ducks in overtime

The 23-year-old scored the winning goal on a power play in overtime.

Screen Shot 2019-03-26 at 7.35.40 AM

After shutout loss, Wild in 'helpless' position with 5 games to go

Minnesota will be scoreboard watching until they play again on Friday.

Jason and Carly Zucker

NHL honors Wild's Jason Zucker with humanitarian award

Jason and Carly Zucker have done big things at Masonic Children's Hospital.

Matt Dumba

Report: Wild 'far from done' making moves; Dumba next?

Minnesota has made multiple moves already this summer.

Ryan Donato

Wild top Rangers; Race to playoffs down to final 10 games

Ryan Donato led the charge with a pair of goals.