Providing yet more anecdotal evidence that your grandma really was right on just about everything, another bad penny has turned up. Craig Leipold, erstwhile owner of the Nashville Predators (and who couldn’t wait to get out of town while that franchise foundered, and nearly sank, on his watch) is as of a few weeks ago the new owner of the Minnesota Wild.
Thankfully, he’ll have coach Jacques Lemaire to lean on as he gets his feet frozen wet up in St. Paul. However, some teams, including the Leafs, have been sniffing around GM Doug Risebrough. Is the Cragister worried that the sharp and successful Risebrough might jump ship? Hardly.
As far as he’s concerned, St. Paul is the place to be. Everyone else “ought to be worried that we’re not going out and getting their coaches and general managers.” Cause that’s how Craig rolls, when he’s not trying to get out of town as fast as he can.
I don’t doubt for an instant the devotion of Wild fans, or the quality of life in the Twin Cities. But someone should send Craig a memo that there are only two things that matter in pro sports: money and titles. For an extra million or a chance to win (obviously, in the Leafs case we’re talking about the money), just about anybody will jump ship–even if they have to leave a “quality” owner like Leipold.
For the sake of my compadre Weed Against Speed and his fellow Wild fans, I hope Leipold is not as big of a douche as he sounds, and that he actually follows through on his stated desire to let the hockey people run the show. But if I were one of them, I’d be a little nervous about this fair-weather owner and his big mouth. Leipold had already endeared himself to his new fan base by likening his purchase of the team to taking over as quarterback of the hated Packers from Brett Favre. What’s next? Casually mentioning that Bud Selig “should have contracted the Twins when he had the chance”? A few months under a self-imposed gag order might do him a world of good.