Jordan Leopold, Minnesota Wild (retired)
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Jordan Leopold (born August 3, 1980) is an American professional ice hockey defenseman currently an unrestricted free agent after playing for the Minnesota Wild of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was drafted in the second round, 44th overall, by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in 1999, though never making an appearance with the team. In his NHL career, Leopold has also played for the Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, Florida Panthers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Buffalo Sabres, St. Louis Blues and Columbus Blue Jackets.
Leopold started his professional career in the NHL in 2002. He played 58 games for the Calgary Flames and scored four goals and 14 points. In his second season, Leopold would play in all 82 regular season games, scoring 33 points as well as contributing to the Flames' playoff run to the 2004 Stanley Cup Final, play which earned him a spot in the defense of the American national team for the 2005 World Championships as well as for the 2006 Winter Olympics.
After one more season with the Flames, Leopold was traded to the Colorado Avalanche at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. Leopold's first season with the Avalanche, in 2006–07, was all but wiped out due to injury. Having missed the first 25 games of the season recovering from hernia surgery, he then suffered a groin injury on December 11, 2006, ruling him out for another 17 games. Just a month later, Leopold was injured again, fracturing his wrist on February 17, 2007, effectively missing the rest of the season, and playing in just 15 games. At season's end, Leopold was re-signed by the Avalanche to a two-year contract on May 22, 2007.
Leopold recovered to full health in time for the 2008–09 season. He played in every game with the Avalanche until the NHL trade deadline, when he was traded back to the Calgary Flames for Lawrence Nycholat, prospect Ryan Wilson and a second-round draft pick. Leopold then played all 19 games for the Flames, becoming the first Flames player to play 83 games of an 82-game season, a feat that Ian White would repeat in 2010.
In the 2009–10 season, Leopold scored seven goals and 18 points in 61 games with the Panthers. On March 1, 2010, he was then traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a second-round draft pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. On April 16, 2010, in Game 2 of a playoff series between the Penguins and the Ottawa Senators, Leopold's series was ended by a devastating hit from Senators defenseman Andy Sutton. Leopold, who had a history of concussion injuries, remained unconscious on the ice for several minutes. Leopold later returned to the Pens' lineup for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semi-final matchup against the Montreal Canadiens.
Leopold and his wife Jamie have three daughters and a son. Leopold's trade to the Minnesota Wild, marking a return to his homestate, gained the attention of media outlets after it was revealed that his 11-year-old daughter, Jordyn, wrote a letter to the Minnesota Wild coaching staff asking for them to trade for Jordan to be closer to family.
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