If there was ever a question regarding the Lightning front office and their commitment to doing whatever is necessary to bring a Stanley Cup championship to Tampa, that question was answered loud and clear with a trade with the New Jersey Devils as forward Blake Coleman comes to the Lightning.
The Lightning had to pay a steep price to acquire Coleman as they traded 2019 number one pick Nathan Foote and also had to give up a conditional first round pick in 2020 to the New Jersey Devils.
Coleman was having a career year with the Devils as he had scored 21 goals in 57 games and had 31 points.
Coleman, 28 years of age is signed through the 2020-21 season at a bargain price of 1.8 million dollars.
This deal was not only about upgrading the roster for the Stanley Cup playoff run, but also acquiring a cap friendly salary that will help the Lightning next season.
Coleman is excited to be coming to Tampa and get a chance to play for the Stanley Cup. “I’m excited to play for a contender and a team that’s on such a roll.“I’m excited to meet these guys and play for a Cup. Obviously, that’s what the dream is.”
Coleman goes from New Jersey which had the fourth worst record in the league to a team that is suddenly in contention once again for the Presidents Trophy with the Boston Bruins.
The Lightning currently have the second best record in the NHL at 39-15-5 three points behind Boston.
General Manager Julien Breisbois had high praise for Coleman.
“We are stronger because we’ve added Blake Coleman. Not only does he make us a better, more competitive team this year, but he’ll make us a better, more competitive team next year as well.”
Speaking of the kind of game Coleman plays, Breisbois added on a conference call “He’s the energizer bunny out there, There aren’t too many players who bring in the value that he does that come with a cap hit of $1.8 million.”
Coleman is known as one of the best defensive forwards in the league and was a key player on the Devils penalty kill.
Breisbois made this trade wanting to give this Lightning team every opportunity to make a deep playoff run even though they had to pay a steep price. “What I felt we couldn’t afford was not to give this group of players every chance to have as good a spring as possible. I made the decision to pay the price.”
Coleman will make his Lightning debut on Thursday night in Vegas as the lightning will play the second of three on the road.
Coleman will add more grit, tenacity, and a tough physical presence to the Lightning third line.
The Lightning will travel to Colorado, Vegas, and Arizona this week as the lightning will look to add to their ten game winning streak.
The Lightning have won 21 out of the last 24 games.