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Standup Ian Bagg on how the NHL (and the Wild) could be better

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The Stanley Cup Finals may be all wrapped up -- or at least winding down -- when comedian Ian Bagg arrives in Minnesota for his run of shows at Acme. His Vancouver Canucks didn't make it out of the first round, but he was impressed with how the Minnesota Wild performed in the post-season.

"I was watching last year's finals with [Chicago Blackhawks head coach] Joel Quenneville in Las Vegas," Bagg recalls. "And he said that Minnesota is crazy good. They barely got by them that season. And if any team was going to give him nightmares, it would be the Wild." This past season, Bagg maintains that the Wild played over their heads and just ran out of steam in the playoffs.

Bagg also has some interesting suggestions on how to make the NHL better.

"I wish there were three seasons," he explains. "October through the All-Star Game, then the All-Star Game to the playoffs, and then the play-offs. You'd have a playoff going on at Christmas, which would be fantastic."

His other idea would kick in at the end of the season.

"The one thing that would make teams wear their hearts on their shoulders is if the lowest three teams got knocked down to the [American Hockey League]. Then the three top AHL teams would come up like they do around the world in soccer."

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Following hockey is a good way for Bagg to take his mind off the comedy business. "Entertainment is the only place you can pay somebody nothing and get away with it. Even people that should know better, like Lena Dunham, try to get away with it," he says, referring to the Girls showrunner not paying performers at readings during her book tour.

"Byron Allen's the same way," Bagg continues, noting that he did Allen's show Comics Unleashed a few years ago and was paid $500. "It's been airing for seven years. He was on Facebook last month saying Obama is the devil. No Byron, you're the devil." When Bagg saw that his episode was set to air yet again, he asked people via social media not to watch it. "I blocked them from using my name," he adds.

"When people talk about minimum wage I say, 'I know about minimum wage with waitresses making two dollars an hour and the comedian making zero,'" he says. "All the money usually goes to the promoters and owners, and people say those people should get most of the money. But no, there's a reason people are sitting in those seats."

Still, he wouldn't want to be doing anything else.

The foibles of show business aside, Bagg always looks forward to coming to Minnesota. "I have great time; even when the shows are bad they're fantastic." Perhaps it's because his Canadian roots fit well into the Upper Midwest sensibility. "It's like with Alaskans. People can recognize the transplants because the natives have a different outlook on life."

IF YOU GO:

Ian Bagg Acme Comedy Co. 708 N. First St., Minneapolis 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; 10:30 Friday and Saturday $15 Call 612-338-6393 or visit acmecomedycompany.com for tickets