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The Owner's Box - Quick Hits Edition

by Craig Leipold / Minnesota Wild

Hello again Wild fans,

It’s time for another check in, and what better time than to do so after three huge Wild victories in the past week. The last time I wrote, I talked about the possibility of the Wild hosting the Winter Classic at some
point down the road. It was a great time to talk about it, since the game at Fenway Park had just been played, but it also seemed to be the number one issue judging by your email submissions.

Since we got that topic out of the way for the time being, I wanted to address some other emails that came in, and I want to make a point to do this periodically. Obviously, I can’t get to them all, but I will do my best to gauge what’s on your minds and let you know my feelings on those topics.

So let’s get started. First, several folks wrote in asking about certain players and their performances. Now, as I mentioned in my first blog, I can’t address specific player issues. I put my complete faith in General Manager Chuck Fletcher, Head Coach Todd Richards and their staffs for those issues. Plus, it’s not fair to any player for me to comment on whom I like or dislike. I do love the direction the current roster is going. They battle hard every night, and they are never out of a game, as we’ve seen all year, especially against Chicago.

But, I can answer a specific question from Ben in Northfield, who asked who my favorite Wild player is. Ben, it’s whoever scored the last game-winning goal for the Wild.

Steve T. in Mahtomedi echoed the sentiments felt by a number of fans that wanted more Wild games broadcast in high definition. As someone who watches countless hours of hockey, I certainly agree that high def is the future of hockey on television. At the end of this season, we will have had almost 50 regular season games broadcast in high definition broadcast on KSTC/KSTP, Fox Sports North and VERSUS. Keep in mind that last year, we had 20 games in high def, and the year before that, we had four games in high def.

You can be sure that we will continue to increase the number of games broadcast in high definition next season, and again the following year.

Faye in Grand Rapids asked about the possibility of a new video screen in the scoreboard at Xcel Energy Center. I get to travel to some of the other NHL arenas for Wild road games, and I have seen first-hand some of the amazing new technology that is out there. I’ve also seen some of the big price tags that go along with those upgrades.  So, while I’m excited to add this to our fans’ experience, I have to say we are still working on how to make it a reality.  We did take the first step this season.  We teamed up with our arena partners, the City of Saint Paul, and our new corporate partner, SONY, on a $2 million HD upgrade of the video control room at the arena, so that we’ll be ready when the bigger HD screen in the scoreboard is able to be added.

Mischelle in Watertown apparently observed me during a game and wonders what I have rolled up in my hands all game long.  It is actually a set of the game notes and stats that our media relations group puts together before every game.  I like to have them in my suite, and I refer to them occasionally during the game.  I have to admit that I also might have used them for a little “stress relief” once in a while, either squeezing them tighter and tighter during one of our many third period comebacks, or maybe smacking them against the seat (or person) next to me in reaction to a penalty call by one of the fine NHL referees who do such a great job each and every night.  Here’s a picture of what the rolled up papers looked like at the end of a recent game:

Before After

I liked the question from Steph, a huge Wild fan living in New Zealand, who wondered if we’d ever think of playing an exhibition game in New Zealand. Steph, I think it’s outstanding that you’re following the Wild from all the way on the other side of the globe. And I can tell you that I’ll use just about any excuse to get to see your beautiful country. But as far as a Wild game being played there, I don’t think that’s going to happen any time soon.

A few different fans asked about a throwback night in which Wild players would wear Minnesota North Stars jerseys. I can tell you that we have talked to the National Hockey League about this possibility. When will it happen? I’m not sure, but I think it is a great idea and important to embrace the history of the North Stars and all of the great players who wore the green and gold.

Inez in Charleston, South Carolina asked which of the Wild’s jerseys is my favorite. Obviously, I like them all, but I’m loving the new green sweaters.

Craig Leipold

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