Minnesota Wild mourn the death of franchise's first owner, chairman

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Courtesy: Minnesota Wild

The Minnesota hockey community is mourning Thursday after the Wild announced the death of former chairman Robert Naegele, Jr.

Naegele died due to complications from cancer Wednesday night with his family by his side, according to a release from the Wild.

Before the Wild’s Nov. 13 home game, they will hold a moment of silence to honor to Minnesota hockey legend. In addition, the team will soon debut a patch with Naegele’s initials on it they will wear for the rest of the season.

Naegele’s son, Bob Naegele III, released a statement saying, in part, “From day one, for him, it was all about the fans and the amazing Minnesota hockey heritage. It is a testament for how he lived his life.”

Wild owner Craig Leipold also released a statement outlining Naegele’s “passion for the game” and “love of his home state.”

“A piece of his heart and soul will remain forever as a part of the Wild,” Leipold wrote. “We will honor that. My family and I are so fortunate to have the chance to build on the great foundation he established here.”

Naegele was born and raised in Minnesota, playing goaltender for the Minnetonka High School Hockey team. He then attended Dartmouth College and married his wife Ellis. They raised three daughters and a son. Naegele and his wife have lived in Naples, Florida since 1994.

Naegele was owner of the Wild when the team debuted Oct. 11, 2000 and remained owner until Leipold bought the team in April 2008.