The Minnesota Wild and the hockey world watched as the Tampa Bay Lightning hoisted their second consecutive Stanley Cup. Part of that championship team is now back to back winner Blake Coleman. Coleman was brought in last season and helped the Lightning win their first Cup since 2004.
Blake Coleman is currently scheduled to become an unrestricted free-agent on July 28th and in my opinion, if the Minnesota Wild had a chance to snag the winger, they absolutely should. Coleman is coming off a 3-year, $5.4 million contract that he previously signed when he was a member of the New Jersey Devils, and while he won’t come cheap especially after winning two cups with the Lightning, he could make a real impact on the Wild if the opportunity arose.
This is a move that could be more likely if the Wild were to trade or initiate a buy-out on Zach Parise as Coleman would need to be guaranteed a roster spot. So, lets say the Wild rid themselves of the Parise contract and are able to sign Kevin Fiala and Kirill Kaprizov to extensions, the money left over should be directed toward bringing in a free agent like Coleman.
In my opinion, Blake Coleman is a higher tier of what Ryan Hartman is for the Wild. Coleman is a strong two-way player and has demonstrated that over the course of his career. You can never have too many two-way players of the Wild and by potentially adding Coleman, Bill Guerin can instantly make the bottom to middle six better.
Coleman is shown to be more effective offensively than Ryan Hartman as Coleman put up 14 goals and 17 assists in 55 games this season and also notched 11 points in 23 playoff games on the path to winning the Stanley Cup including this beautiful one handed diving goal in the final moments of game 2.
As far as term and dollar amount is concerned, I think Coleman would be looking for a two to three year contract and anywhere from $3-4 million of a yearly cap hit.
Could the Wild dive into the free agent market on July 28th and sign Coleman? Absolutely, and by doing that, Bill Guerin and the Minnesota Wild will grow with more grit and skill for the bottom six and adding depth like that could lead the team into eventual playoff success.