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The New Jersey Devils started a busy week ahead on Sunday as they dealt captain Andy Greene to the New York Islanders in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft and defenseman David Quenneville. Hours later, the team announced that they shipped forward Blake Coleman to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for forward prospect Nolan Foote and a first-round pick in 2020.
The first-round pick that was part of the deal with the Lightning was acquired from the Vancouver Canucks as part of the trade for forward J.T. Miller at last summer’s draft.
In exchange for Coleman, the Devils get prospect Nolan Foote and Vancouver’s first-round pick which Tampa got in the J.T. Miller trade
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) February 17, 2020
After a promising offseason, the Devils’ season has not gone according to plan as they started 0-4-2 and are currently last in the Metropolitan Division with 52 points. Before they dealt Greene and Coleman, the Devils fired head coach John Hynes on December 3, traded 2018 Hart Trophy winner Taylor Hall to the Arizona Coyotes on December 16, and fired GM Ray Shero on January 12.
Coleman, 28, has one more season remaining on a three-year contract that carries a cap hit of $1.8 million while Greene, 37, can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Coleman can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2021.
With the addition of Coleman, the Lightning add a scoring forward to a dynamic offense that is already second in the NHL with an average of 3.54 goals-per-game, slightly behind the Colorado Avalanche’s average of 3.56. Due to the firepower that the Lightning have upfront, Coleman will likely slide somewhere in the middle-six.
Coleman’s 21 goals in 57 games this season are tied with forward Kyle Palmeri for the team lead while his 31 points are fourth and his -2 rating is tied with defenseman Connor Carrick for sixth. He is one goal and five points behind his career-highs set in 78 games last season. In 237 career NHL games, all with the Devils, the third-round pick in the 2011 NHL Draft has 57 goals, 94 points, and a -21 rating. Coleman also leads the Devils with 166 hits and 42 takeaways this season.
Foote, the Lightning’s first-round pick last June, has recorded 15 goals, 33 points, and a +5 rating in 26 games with the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets this season. He added three goals, five points, and an even rating in seven games for Canada at the 2019 World Junior Championship.
With the addition of Greene, the Islanders add some depth to a defense that ranks seventh in the NHL this season with an average of 2.72 goals-against per game. Greene will likely play in the Islanders’ bottom-four.
Greene has recorded two goals, 11 points, and a +1 rating in 53 games this season. He leads the Devils in average penalty-killing ice-time per game (3:25) and blocked shots (136) this season. In 923 career NHL games, all with the Devils, Greene, who was undrafted, has recorded 49 goals, 246 points, and a -19 rating. The best season of his NHL career came in 2009-10 when he set career-highs in assists (31) and points (37) while his six goals that season are the second-most he has had in a season during his career (eight: 2013-14).
The NHL Trade Deadline is Monday, February 24 at 3 PM ET. The Devils could continue to wheel and deal up until that point with forward Wayne Simmonds set to become an unrestricted free agent after the season and Palmeri eligible for unrestricted free agency in 2021.
The Lightning currently have $5,956,555 in cap space while the Islanders have $14,469,016. The Devils currently have $30,226,378.
By Harrison Brown