It didn’t take long for Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold to express displeasure with the NHLPA withholding consent for realignment. Upon learning the news, Leipold sent an email to Mike Russo of the Minnesota Star-Tribune expressing his disappointment:
“To say I am disappointed in the actions of the NHLPA to deny consent to implement realignment for next season is an understatement. Our fans were universally excited to be playing against midwestern teams in the previous old Norris Division.
“I’m disappointed for our fans, our employees and our players. It appears everyone wanted this to happen except the leaders of the players’ union. I pledge to Wild fans to continue to pursue this realignment plan as aggressively as possible.”
Leipold’s comments aren’t surprising, especially since the Wild were thought to be one of the “winners” of NHL realignment. Sportsnet’s John Shannon noted Minnesota (and Dallas) were the only teams in their divisions in the central time zone; both were pleased to cut down travel and make their televised road games start at more reasonable times.