Sports

NHL Defenseman Dealt to Hometown Minnesota Wild in Wake of Daughter’s Heartfelt Letter

Scott Cook Contributor

Just hours before the Monday’s NHL trade deadline, news surfaced that veteran defenseman Jordan Leopold had been traded from the Columbus Blue Jackets to the Minnesota Wild.

A native of Golden Valley, Minn. and a former standout at the University of Minnesota, Leopold is excited to return home.

Even more excited about his return home is his daughter and his family.

Shortly after news broke that Leopold had been traded, a hand-written letter from his 11-year-old daughter Jordyn went viral on Twitter. The heart-felt letter evoked Blue Jacket’s general manager Jarmo Kekalainen to tweet, “It isn’t always just about business…” along with a photo of the letter.

In the letter, Jordyn pleads to the Minnesota Wild coaching staff, asking them to please acquire her dad from the Blue Jackets. She makes it clear that her father and family wanted him to return to Minnesota.

“My dad is very lonly without his family. We are living in Minnesota right now and I am lost without my dad, and so is my Mom, my 2 sisters, and my brother,” Jordyn writes.

She continues on to point out that her 34-year-old father was not a good fit with Columbus.

“My dad is on a team with young guys and is very lonly and is not playing.”

Jordyn finally gets to her hard-hitting and heartfelt point:

“It has been since November and we can not take it anymore. Well to get to the point the Wild have not been winning games and you lovly coaches are most likely mad about that but your team needs some more D[efense] men so can you please, please, please ask the Jackets if you guys can get him!”

Jordyn’s mother, Jamie Leopold, told ESPN that she found her daughter’s letter on a counter one day in January after she had left for school. Jamie gave the letter to Twin Cities radio station KFAN. Radio host Paul Allen read Jordyn’s letter on the air three separate times in hopes of getting word out that Leopold wanted to return to Minnesota.

Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher and Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen were both aware that Leopold wanted to return home.

As for the letter, Kekalainen said that he became aware of it “almost simultaneously,” as the deal was being inked. He continued, “that’s a touching letter. We wanted to do the right thing with Jordan Leopold.”

Fletcher said, “It was pretty powerful. We’re excited for Jordan.”

Leopold was traded for defenseman Justin Falk and a 2015 fifth-round draft pick.

Leopold, who was traded from St. Louis to Columbus earlier this season, has one goal, thirty-one blocks and three points in 18 games for the Blue Jackets this season. He adds depth to an injury-plagued group of Wild defensemen.