Bob Naegele Jr., found­ing owner of NHL’s Wild, at 78

Boston Herald - - OBITUARIES -

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Bob Naegele Jr., the found­ing owner of the Min­nesota Wild, has died of com­pli­ca­tions from can­cer. He was 78.

The Wild said Mr. Naegele died on Wed­nes­day night with his fam­ily by his side. Play­ers will wear a jersey patch with his ini­tials for the re­main­der of the sea­son, and a mo­ment of si­lence will be held be­fore Min­nesota’s next home game on Tues­day night against Wash­ing­ton. “A piece of his heart and soul will re­main for­ever as a part of the Wild,” said cur­rent owner Craig Leipold, who bought the club from Mr. Naegele in 2008. “We will honor that. My fam­ily and I are so for­tu­nate to have the chance to build on the great foun­da­tion he es­tab­lished here.”

Mr. Naegele was the lead in­vestor in the ex­pan­sion fran­chise that be­gan play in 2000, eight sea­sons af­ter the North Stars left Min­nesota for Dal­las. A star goalie at Min­netonka High School in the Twin Cities area, Naegele built his wealth through a bill­board com­pany started by his fa­ther. He also helped re­vive the Min­nesota-based Rollerblade com­pany that fu­eled the in-line skat­ing craze in the 1980s and 1990s. Mr. Naegele even­tu­ally re­tired in Florida.

In 2008, he was one of the win­ners of the Lester Pa­trick Tro­phy for ser­vice to the sport.

“We are all grate­ful to the dreamer who made the re­turn of the NHL pos­si­ble, as will be fu­ture gen­er­a­tions of the Min­nesota hockey fans,” said for­mer Wild mi­nor­ity owner and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Jac Sper­ling. “We will all miss Bob greatly.”

Mr. Naegele was mar­ried to his wife, El­lis, for 58 years. They had three daugh­ters and a son and 10 grand­chil­dren.


Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.