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Wild owner Craig Leipold on ‘bodacious idea’ of Suter, Parise; Nashville as hockey town

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

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Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold likes the big, "bodacious" ideas.

That was one message during his speech at the annual Minnesota Venture & Finance Conference on Thursday, and obviously the courtship and signing of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter would fit under that purview.

First, he admitted to a pretty pimp move when competing for an unrestricted free agent. Via Kyle Potter, who covered the conference:

.@mnwild also gave Parise/Suter families #mnwild jerseys w/ players names, trying to scare off other #nhl teams who came knocking #mnconf

— Kyle Potter (@kpottermn) October 11, 2012

Can you imagine Ken Holland coming to the Suter homestead and the person answering the door is dressed like Mikko Koivu?

Leipold also spoke about the genesis of the Parise/Suter plan ... and a little about his former team, the Nashville Predators.

Via Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal:

After three disappointing seasons, Leipold and his staff met last spring to come up with a plan to transforming the Wild franchise. "We had to think outside the box. How do we re-create who we are and re-engage our fans?" he recalled. "The answer was [Ryan] Suter and [Zach] Parise."

Leipold said he didn't think they'd land both of the high-profile free agencies like they did on July 4, but he knew they had to try.

"This is a game-changer for us. This is not just two typical players coming in," he said. "We can't wait to start the season," he said, not specifically mentioning the NHL's lockout of players, which has resulted in a delayed start to regular season games. "[The season's start] should have been tomorrow night, but it will be soon."

(Keep hope alive!)

Before Leipold purchased the Minnesota Wild, he was the owner of the Nashville Predators. According to John Vomhof Jr., of the Business Journal, Leipold sold "in 2007 after coming to the conclusion that Nashville was a great town, but not a great hockey town."

As Leipold said during the conference: "After the third period, everyone staying in the their seats, waiting for the fourth quarter to start."

Please keep in mind that 2007 was an eternity ago for the NHL city they now call "Smashville." Still, intriguing insight. Or unmitigated snark. One of the two.

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