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“We are going to be able to skip ahead four or five steps of development and recruiting costs to get to a place that could take us three years to get to,” Leipold said. “And we can do it now.”

For a medium-sized sports market that has seen so many players leave for bigger cities and bigger pay days throughout the years, it was a momentous move. A team in flyover country was able to land the two best players available over long-established powers like Detroit, Pittsburgh and New Jersey.

“It is starting to sink in,” Leipold said. “To get two players of the caliber that we did with Zach and Ryan is just one of those things that when you start this mission to make the team better, you have holes on the team you want to fill. Your dream is to be able to fill those with players of that caliber. But we never thought we could get both of them.”


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