Once a Predator, Now Out in the "Minnesota" Wild

Jason HackettAnalyst IJanuary 10, 2008

In a "Wild" turn of events, former Nashville Predators' owner Craig Leipold has reached an agreement to purchase a majority stake in Minnesota Sports and Entertainment.

Minnesota Sports and Entertainment is the company that owns the Minnesota Wild franchise, the Excel Energy Arena, the Wild's AHL affiliate in Houston, and the Minnesota Swarm of the NLL.

After losing a reported 70 million dollars while owning the Nashville Predators, Leipold was reluctant to sell the team to an owner that wished to relocate the Predators. So instead of cutting his losses or even requesting to move the franchise, he sold the Predators to a group of Nashville businessmen.

Less then half a year later, the Predators are still losing money, but Leipold is running a different NHL Franchise.

Personally, I would assume that Leipold knew Bettman wouldn't let the Predators leave Nashville, which is why he would do a sell and purchase within the same organization (the NHL). He already had a franchise, almost complete control of it, yet he sold it and putting all of his money into one basket. It isn't a done deal by any means as the Board of Governors could still reject the bid. I think this is a strong possibility after Leipold sold one franchise only to buy another.

If the deal goes through, I believe this could only benefit the Wild, and maybe even give them more cash flow into their personal salary cap. Something that they have been doing in the last couple of years, but when the team sells out every home game and is a winning team, more money could benefit the team. It would make it easier to bring in outside talent, re-sign their own players, and more money into advertising, etc.

Side note: Does anyone know of some one ever owning two different franchises? This doesn't include any re-locations (Hartford-Carolina, Quebec-Colorado, etc).