SUN Hockey Pool

Scoring some digs as newcomers arrive

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:01 AM ET

It wasn't exactly a hero's welcome, but Olli Jokinen was a star as he returned to Calgary for the first time as a member of the Flames.

Named the NHL's second star of the week for his six goals and two assists in the last three games of the Flames' seven-game road trip, Jokinen was eager to get settled.

"I'm going to go find a place to live and get a car to drive and look around a little bit," said the 30-year-old centre.

He'll make his Saddle- dome debut in the Flaming C tomorrow night against the Dallas Stars.

"He played exceptionally well," said head coach Mike Keenan of Jokinen's start to his Calgary career after the Finn notched eight goals and 10 points in his first six games with the Flames.

As happy as he was to set foot in his new home, there was probably no Flame as excited and relieved to return to Calgary as defenceman Jordan Leopold.

His odyssey since joining the Flames on the road after a two-week trip with the Colorado Avalanche finally comes to an end.

"I just went over the numbers. I sat down with my wife and we talked about it, kind of giggled and laughed -- it's been 25 days, 12,000 miles almost. A long time," said Leopold, who is in his second stint with the Flames after a deadline-day trade brought him back.

"It's been a little bit taxing, but it's nice to get grounded, nice to be back in a familiar place and with familiar people."

Most of all, his family. Newborn son Kyle joined him for a day in Atlanta along with his wife and daughters Jordyn and Brooke.

After arriving in Calgary on the weekend, they are united for more than just a brief visit for the first time in a month.

"The next step is to get settled here," said Leopold, who, like Jokinen, is now looking for a place to call home.

At least for a couple of months.

Leopold is an unrestricted free agent this summer.

"It's important to get the family grounded," he said.

Making the transition to a new team is a little smoother for Jokinen, who has played for Keenan before in Florida.

Things will take a little more time for Leopold, who was paired with Robyn Regehr for nearly three seasons in his last go-round with the Flames.

"Trying to get back into our system is a little bit of a transition for him, particularly because he plays defence," said Keenan.

A new partner is taking some adjustment, too.

"I'm playing with somebody different. I'm not playing with Reg," said Leopold, who has taken the left point beside Dion Phaneuf.

"It's a little bit different for me, playing the left-hand side. It's been a challenge so far."

Putting up points has been easy for Jokinen, but he's got some improvements to make defensively, too.

"I want to work on things and get to know the system. I've only been with the team 10, 11 days, so there's still a lot of work ahead," said Jokinen, who's really looking forward to seeing what it's like at the Saddledome as a member of the home side.

"Yeah, absolutely. It's a fun building to play in, but it's a lot more fun to wear that Calgary jersey there and get that support behind you."


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