SUN Hockey Pool

Leopold ecstatic to Av blueline spot back

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:47 AM ET

Coming back to the Calgary Flames probably feels a lot like a family reunion.

But for Jordan Leopold, a reunion with his actual family is going to have to wait a little longer.

Being traded back to the Flames yesterday from the Colorado Avalanche for defencemen Lawrence Nycholat, Ryan Wilson and a second-round draft pick is bittersweet for Leopold.

He joins a team hitting the road for two weeks on the heels of a swing just as long with the Avs.

He hasn't seen his newborn son, Kyle, for more than a week already.

"It's been quite busy," the 28-year-old Leopold said yesterday from his home in Denver.

"At the start of that road trip, we had the emergence of a new baby boy. Right at the beginning. I saw him once after he was born. I didn't even make the birth -- my wife was back in Minnesota giving birth there."

Leopold spent a day with his newborn before rejoining the team on the road, then snuck in another visit before getting back to business again.

And now circumstances see him heading right back out there, away from his baby.

"I haven't seen him in about a week and a half. It's going to be some time before I probably see my family, but it's an exciting day," said Leopold, whose first daughter, Jordyn, was born during the 2004 playoffs and who has since had a second girl, Brooke.

"I know my kids miss me, but it's part of business. I'll see them back in Calgary when we get done with the trip. Either that or maybe they'll find their way to one of the cities so I can regroup and get back in touch with the family."

Leopold will talk to Flames GM Darryl Sutter to see what options he has in that department.

Meanwhile, he's excited about the idea of joining such a strong team -- one that's even better than the one for which he played three seasons before parting ways prior to the 2006-07 campaign in the deal for Alex Tanguay.

An on-ice pairing with former blueline partner Robyn Regehr may not necessarily be in the cards, but the two will definitely catch up in the locker-room.

"I did talk to Reg earlier today, and he's excited that I'm coming back, as am I. We'll see where the pieces fit," said Leopold.

After three successful years as a Flame, Leopold struggled as a member of the Avalanche.

He could only suit up for 15 games in his first season, and another 43 the next.

Finally healthy, he's posted six goals and 20 points in 64 games this year.

A fresh start in familiar surroundings is a great way to continue his climb.

"It gives me more of a push," he said. "Once I left Calgary a couple years ago, I know Darryl didn't really want to part ways. It's the nature of the beast. One way or another, I thought maybe in the long run ... maybe Darryl's thinking about me.

"Apparently, he was."

And for the next couple weeks, his young family will be in the back of Leopold's mind.


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