An NHL source confirmed to Boston Hockey Now that the Boston Bruins were one of four teams pushing hard to acquire New Jersey Devils winger Blake Coleman Sunday afternoon before he was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning for prospect Nolan Foote and Vancouver’s 2020 first round pick. After Coleman was scratched from the Devils lineup for their game against the Columbus Blue Jackets Sunday night, he reportedly left the arena while his team prepared for the 6 PM game. A report then surfaced on Twitter that Coleman had been dealt to the Colorado Avalanche but the Devils quickly denied that.
According to the source, as of 4:45 PM ET, the Bruins, Avalanche, Oilers and an unknown team were still very much involved in trade negotiations with Devils interim General Manager Tom Fitzgerald.
Coleman is in the second year of a three-year contract that carries a $1.8 cap hit. The 28-year-old winger had a career-high 22 goals in 78 games last season and as of Sunday was one goal shy of tying that mark with 21 goals in 57 games. The 5-foot-11, 200-pound forward was drafted by the Devils in the third round (75th overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Coleman played four seasons (2011-12 to 2014-15) for Miami of Ohio University and three of them were as teammates with current Bruins forward Sean Kuraly.
Our colleague Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now gave a scouting report on Coleman to Colorado Hockey Now Sunday. Kingerski, a longtime Pittsburgh Penguins beat reporter, has seen plenty of Coleman throughout four seasons in the NHL.
“Coleman can take some dumb penalties, but he as great puck possession skills and can be a bull when he gets his nose over the puck. He has a knack for scoring big goals in tight games and physical battles with Pittsburgh and Washington. He’s the kind of player who should thrive in the playoffs,” Kingerski told CHN.
Word around the league Sunday was that this was one of the multiple negotiations Bruins GM Don Sweeney was engaged in with New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider – who the Bruins played on Sunday – still their primary target.