St. Paul, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - With a little help from an unexpected source, the Minnesota Wild acquired well-traveled and oft-injured defenseman Jordan Leopold from the Columbus Blue Jackets as the NHL's trade deadline approached on Monday afternoon.
Heading from the Twin Cities are defenseman Justin Falk as well as a fifth- round pick in this year's draft.
The deal was made official shortly after the revelation of a letter, written by Leopold's 11-year-old daughter, Jordyn, earlier in the winter, which expressed both her and her family's desire to be reunited with their father. The Leopolds reside in Minnesota's population center while Jordan has been making the circuit around the NHL.
Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen scanned the hand-written note on his Twitter account, adding the comment "It isn't just always just about business..."
Leopold, the 2002 Hobey Baker Award winner out of the University of Minnesota, will suit up for his eighth team in a 12-year NHL career. He began the season in St. Louis, failing to score in seven appearances, then was acquired by the Blue Jackets on Nov. 15 and recorded a goal and two assists over 18 games.
The former second-round pick of the Mighty Ducks in 1999, Leopold debuted with the Flames in 2002, and has compiled 67 goals and 146 assists over 677 games. Among other issues, he has been sidelined by hernia surgery, a broken wrist, pneumonia, a leg laceration and hip issues.