The Calgary Flames are going to bring in a Stanley Cup champion, as Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic confirms they will sign Blake Coleman when free agency opens. Joe Smith of The Athletic reports the deal will be a six-year contract and will carry an average annual value of $4.9MM. The Athletic’s Hailey Salvian reports that the deal carries a full no-movement clause for the first three seasons and a modified no-trade clause for the final three.
Initially linked to the Dallas Stars, his hometown team, and the Boston Bruins, a rival of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Coleman will instead head about as far from Tampa as possible by joining the Flames. Calgary is a team that is trying to become tougher to play against and Coleman’s hard-nosed game will certainly help with that. Though limited to a third-line role with the Bolts, albeit a crucial one, Coleman will likely compete for top-six minutes with the Flames. The team is deep up front with the likes of Matthew Tkachuk, Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Elias Lindholm, Mikael Backlund, Andrew Mangiapane, and Dillon Dube, but Coleman’s game is unlike any of these current top-nine options. He has the chance to be the piece that completes the puzzle for a Flames squad whose results have not matched their talent on paper.
Though unsurprising, Coleman’s official departure from Tampa means the team will be replacing their highly-valued third line in its entirety. Coleman, Yanni Gourde, and Barclay Goodrow will all be on new teams this season after playing a critical role the past two years, especially in the postseason.