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What’s the 'dill’ with new Lightning forward Blake Coleman?

Get to know Coleman, who has a penchant for pickles, can bust a move to "Old Town Road” and is a rare Texan in the NHL.
New Jersey Devils center Blake Coleman during the second period of a Feb. 8 game in Newark, N.J.
New Jersey Devils center Blake Coleman during the second period of a Feb. 8 game in Newark, N.J. [ BILL KOSTROUN | AP ]
Published Feb. 17, 2020
Updated Feb. 17, 2020

The Lighting made their first move of the trade season before the Feb. 24 deadline on Sunday night, adding New Jersey’s Blake Coleman to their roster in exchange for Tampa Bay prospect and No. 1 pick Nolan Foote. Here are a few things to know about the newest member of Tampa Bay’s squad:

He has his own pickle juice and merchandise line

One of Coleman’s first viral moments came during the New Jersey-Colorado matchup in 2017. Coleman was sent to the box for a couple of minutes, but he couldn’t take a seat before teammate Brian Gibbons skated over with his pickle juice.

In the podcast, Coleman said he started drinking pickle juice to help ease his chronic cramping, which runs in his family.

Coleman runs his own pickle juice company, P20, accompanied by plenty of merchandise for all ages. Although Tampa Bay fans might want to wait until he re-brands from the red color scheme to blue before placing an order.

He and wife Jordan have sweet moves

You might remember a specific dance routine that went viral last summer when an NHL player and his wife took the floor at their wedding reception. Turns out it was Coleman and wife, Jordan, sharing a special first dance as they broke out their moves to Old Town Road. Coleman said in his Instagram post that he “treated this dance like it was Game 7 of the Cup finals."

Coleman is one of the few NHL players from Texas

It’s hard to imagine a hockey player from Plano, Texas. It doesn’t scream hockey like some of the other hometowns throughout the league, but nevertheless it’s a mark on the map in the NHL. Coleman’s Texas roots make him one of just five current players in the league hailing from the Lone Star State. He grew up playing different kinds of sports before he got into hockey, quickly converting to a Dallas Stars fan.

Related: Lightning’s Blake Coleman balances trade with becoming a new father

His grandmother got him into hockey

Speaking of the Stars, it was Coleman’s grandmother, Marie, who took him to his first game when he was 2 years old. His interest was piqued and he started trying to get more involved in the sport, taking up roller hockey with kids nearby. When Coleman was 6, he finally got his chance to play ice hockey for a travel team. He would have to try out and the cutoff was 8 years old, but he went for it nonetheless. He made the team and has been playing ever since.

He played against Cooper in the USHL

Coleman’s roots with the Lightning actually began before he was traded Sunday night.

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In 2009-10, Coleman faced off against coach Jon Cooper’s team in the United States Hockey League. In Coleman’s first year with the Indiana Ice, he went head-to-head with Cooper’s Green Bay Gamblers in the semifinals of the Clark Cup Playoffs. Cooper’s team advanced to the finals — after coming back from a Game 1 loss and winning the next three — and took the championship, but Blake has a good grasp on his new coach and what the Lightning are looking for 10 years later.

“I’m familiar with the way (Cooper) runs his ship,” Coleman said. “They’re bringing me in because I have a playoff-type game, a will to compete and a will to win."

Contact Mari Faiello at mfaiello@tampabay.com. Follow @faiello_mari.