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Martin replaces Leopold on U.S. World Cup team

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Ottawa, ON (Sports Network) - Due to a concussion sustained in an exhibition contest, Calgary Flames defenseman Jordan Leopold was replaced on Team USA's roster for the upcoming World Cup of Hockey by New Jersey Devils blueliner Paul Martin.

"Unfortunately Jordan will be unable to participate further in the World Cup due to his injury status," said Team USA general manager Larry Pleau. "However this represents a tremendous opportunity for Paul Martin, who is a rising young star in the National Hockey League and a player who can contribute for us on defense." Leopold suffered a concussion during the third period of Tuesday's exhibition game versus Canada. The two teams will meet again Wednesday night in another tune-up at the Corel Centre in Ottawa. The 24-year-old Leopold recently agreed to a contract with the Western Conference champion Flames. He competed in all 82 regular-season games for Calgary in 2003-04 and played a key role in the club's surprising march to the Stanley Cup finals. Leopold led all Calgary blueliners with nine goals and 24 assists while finishing the year with a plus-eight rating. In the 2004 playoffs, he tied for first among all NHL defensemen with 10 assists in 26 games. The Flames were defeated in seven games by the Tampa Bay Lightning in last year's finals. Martin, meanwhile, just finished his first season in the NHL with the Devils and recorded six goals and 18 assists. Martin played in 70 games and his total of 24 points was good for fifth-best among all NHL rookie defensemen. He was tied for second among Devils' defensemen with a plus-12 rating. He also became the first-ever New Jersey rookie to score an overtime goal in the regular season. Prior to joining the Devils, Martin helped the University of Minnesota capture back-to-back NCAA Division I national championships in 2002 and 2003.

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