ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Ever buy something you highly anticipated and had to wait to use it?
That's the feeling Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold had last year after going out and purchasing the premier free agents in Zach Parise and Ryan Suter and then having to sit through months of the lockout.
"That was pretty frustrating," Leipold said. "Knowing that we had this anticipation by our fan base to have the two marquee players that have been on the market at one time in 10 years, to be able to sign them both, it was frustrating not to be able to have (Parise and Suter) out there."
Leipold, a fan himself, was waiting to see the true unveiling of Parise and Suter last year. But the lockout changed everything and perhaps no team was affected as much as the Wild, who were introducing two key players in Parise and Suter into the lineup, but also working in several rookies. Minnesota's lineup had more than a 40 percent turnover from the prior season.