Just wrapping up some of the Devils’ moves over the last few days, there were two other restricted free agent signings done the other day that I missed.
First was Blake Coleman, a 25 year-old center. He signed a one-year, two-way contract with New Jersey. He played 23 games last season for the Devils and had a goal and an assist for two points and 27 penalty minutes according to Hockey-Reference.com.
The native of Plano, Texas (the same hometown as fellow signee Stefan Noesen) who played his college hockey at Miami of Ohio (the same alma mater as captain Andy Greene), he has played the bulk of his career in the AHL with the Albany Devils (66 regular season games). In those 66 games, he has 23 goals and 23 assists for an even 46 points.
His contract is worth $660,000 at the NHL level. Coleman was drafted by the Devils 75th overall in the third round of the 2011 NHL Draft.
Also signed was left winger Blake Pietila to a two-year, two-way contract worth an average of $667,500 at the NHL level.
Pietila is a 24 year-old native of Milford, Michigan who went to Michigan Tech. He was taken by New Jersey in the fifth round, 129th overall in the 2011 Draft.
Over two professional seasons (2015-16 and 2016-17), Pietila has played 17 NHL games for the Devils and has a goal and two assists for three points according to Hockey-Reference.com. In the AHL, he has played 107 games, potting 27 goals, 23 assists for 50 points in the regular season.
That is two more RFAs locked up, we will see if the Devils can get Damon Severson brought in. He is the last remaining major guy not under contract. We will see how it plays out.
One other note that came from Devils beat writer Andrew Gross is that MSG broadcaster and former Devils forward John MacLean will be departing MSG Network to work as an assistant coach under newly hired head coach Rick Tocchet in Arizona. Gross reported that MacLean has previous NHL coaching experience as a head coach with the Devils in 2010-11 and as an assistant under another former Devil, Kirk Muller, in Carolina from 2011 to 2014. He was also an assistant with the Devils from 2002 to 2009. He also worked as a broadcaster nationally with the NHL Network.
Johnny Mac’s coaching career has been kind of start and stop, but here’s hoping he gets a fair shake with the Coyotes. The Yotes have, in a way, blown things up and are starting from scratch. They have some good, young players that I am sure Mac will be able to impart some knowledge on.
I will, however, miss him on Devils broadcasts and will be interested to see who they get to replace him.