Craig Leipold didn't get his chance to fight for conference realignment until December 2010.

He was in Palm Beach Fla. with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and the other team owners for a Board of Governors meeting.

There they discussed several topics including the possibility of the Atlanta Thrashers moving to a new city for the following season. If that were to happen they wanted to be prepared. So they discussed how a move might affect division alignments.

Leipold who had pined for conference realignment since purchasing the team in 2008 finally saw his opportunity.

There were few allies in his push for change. Detroit and ironically Dallas were the only teams that supported Leipold. Stuck playing too many teams on the West Coast they too wanted a change.

It was the first week of December 2010 eight weeks into the season and the Wild still hadn't played a road game in the Central time zone. Leipold used that as evidence that conference realignment was necessary regardless of where Atlanta moved.

"I remember making that statement and (the other owners) were like 'Wow is that right?' " Leipold said.

Conference realignment didn't come as swiftly as Leipold had hoped. After the Board of Governors approved realignment for the 2012-13 season Donald Fehr and the players union rejected it.

But three years after that 2010 meeting the Wild are prepping for their first season under reassigned conferences featuring two divisions in each conference. They open the new era Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center.