The handwritten letter has become a lost art form, a casualty of today’s world of instant digital communication. However, a heartfelt note from a daughter in the State of Hockey has gone viral in the last 24 hours.
Jordyn Leopold, daughter of the Wild’s newest member Jordan, penned a persuasive message to the organization’s coaches in January, asking the Minnesota brass to trade for her father. In a twist of fate on the National Hockey League’s Trade Deadline, much to the delight of the entire Leopold clan, the club acquired the blueliner from the Columbus Blue Jackets yesterday.
"My dad is very [lonely] without his family," Jordyn wrote. "We are living in Minnesota right now and I am lost without my dad and so is my mom, my two sisters and my brother."
Jamie Leopold, her mother, posted a photo of the letter on Facebook to share with friends and family. The family was in Minnesota while Jordan played in Columbus.
"I didn’t even know she wrote it," Jamie told KFAN. "She left it on the counter, went to school one day, and I read it and just started bawling."
“With anybody that has kids, you guys know they take things upon themselves sometimes,” Jordan Leopold said. “She was writing a little bit persuasively at school and thought it was a good idea to write a persuasive letter.”
Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher had been in talks with Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen about brining Leopold to Minnesota earlier in the season, but a deal never materialized. Things came together late in the afternoon and the Golden Valley native was on his way home.
"[Trading] Jordan Leopold was about doing the right thing for a guy who was a great pro for us," Kekalainen said to NHL.com. “[He] gets to go home and join his family. We thank him for everything we did for the franchise. He was a great pro."
The Leopolds didn’t intend for the letter to gain national attention and considered taking it down with the trade deadline approaching. They never intended for it to be publicized, just shared amongst friends and family. Following the trade, the letter went viral. The photo began circulating on social media, websites and other news outlets jumped on board.
“It’s been crazy,” Jordan said. “I woke up this morning, and Carson Daly is reading on the letter on The Today Show.
“We’ve been contacted by everybody to get my daughter on TV.”
Fletcher saw the note circulating yesterday and felt the sentiment. He joked that after reading it, “the pressure was immense” to bring the Golden Valley native home to Minnesota.
“I’m telling you, it was a pretty powerful letter. She hit on a few good points,” Fletcher said. “Very good writer, in fact we may have an opening on our communications staff.”
Leopold said that his daughter is “very shy” and doesn’t know if she’ll want to talk about the letter. She’ll be at the game with the rest of the family as the defenseman makes his Wild debut against the Ottawa Senators tonight.
The letter is also a good reminder of the families behind a pro athlete, especially this time of year. There is always speculation swirling around the deadline that a player will be uprooted from home.
“We’re on the inside of it, we have families, we know the players’ families, the kids are in the locker room,” Wild Head Coach Mike Yeo said. “This time of year, it’s usually more players going the other way. It’s kind of a situation where, dads are going to be leaving their kids; they don’t want to relocate their family for maybe a short period of time.”
The blueliner knows a thing or four about deadline movement. Leopold has been involved in four trades at the deadline and Jordan is on his eighth NHL team. However, this time around, the deal worked as a homecoming and the plane ride to Minnesota might’ve been the best of his 12-year career.
“My kids picked me up at the airport last night with open arms,” Leopold said. “I try not to get emotional, but it is.
“It’s a great thing.”