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Flames acquire D Leopold from Avalanche

TSN.ca Staff

3/4/2009 1:55:05 PM

The Avalanche shipped one of their defensive assets out of Colorado, moving defenceman Jordan Leopold to the Calgary Flames in exchange for defenceman Lawrence Nycholat, a second-round draft pick in 2009, that originally belonged to the Montreal Canadiens as part of the Alex Tanguay trade, and defence prospect Ryan Wilson.

This will be the 28-year old Leopold's second tour of duty with the Flames as he played with Calgary between 2002-2006.

"Once I left Calgary a couple years ago, I know Darryl didn't really want to part ways, but it's the nature of the beast and it's the business," Leopold explained following the trade. "I thought in the long run that maybe Darryl was thinking about me and apparently he was."

Leopold is making $1.5 million this season and is in the final year of his contract, meaning he could become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Avalanche general manager Francois Giguere traded the Golden Valley, Minnesota, native rather than risk losing him in the off-season.

Drafted in the second round (44th overall) by Anaheim in 1999, Leopold didn't see any game action with the Ducks. He spent three seasons with the Flames before joining the Avalanche in 2006 as part of a trade that saw Alex Tanguay go to the Calgary in the exchange.

In 333 career NHL games, Leopold has 28 goals, 77 assists and a minus- 10 rating with 156 penalty minutes.

This is the well traveled Nycholat's third team in a week after the Flames claimed the Calgary native off of waivers from the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday.  He has one assist in 14 games with the Canucks this season.

The 22-year old Wilson signed with the Flames as an undrafted free-agent this past summer.  He was a third team OHL All-Star with the Sarnia Sting in the 2007-08 season.