Bob Naegele, who helped bring hockey back to Minnesota following the exit of the North Stars, died Wednesday due to complications related to cancer. He was 78.
Naegele was chairman of the Minnesota Wild, leading the investment group to land the franchise in Saint Paul, Minn., in 1997.
“The National Hockey League, the Minnesota Wild and hockey fans across the State of Minnesota have lost a dear friend with the passing of Bob Naegele,” said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. “More than 20 years ago, Bob had a vision - to return NHL hockey to the Twin Cities and to ensure that the great fans in the State of Hockey would have a state-of-the-art arena in which to cheer for their beloved Wild. He worked tirelessly, often in the face of long odds, to ensure that his dreams became reality.
“Bob characteristically deflected the credit to others, but in 2008, the NHL presented him with the Lester Patrick Trophy for his service to hockey in the United States. He was passionate about the game, loved his home state and he cared about hockey fans. We will miss him and extend our deepest sympathies to his wife Ellis, four children, 10 grandchildren and countless friends.”
The Wild announced Thursday the franchise will honor Naegele with a moment of silence before its next home game on Nov. 13 against the Washington Capitals. In addition, the team wear a “BN” patch on their jerseys for the remainder of this season.
A Dartmouth graduate and Minnesota native, Naegele sold the Wild to Craig Leipold in 2008.
—Field Level Media