NHL rumors: Devils trade Blake Coleman to Lightning, continuing fire sale | What it means

The Devils started Sunday with a trade splash by sending Andy Greene to the New York Islanders, and they remained open for business well into the evening.

Forward Blake Coleman was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday in exchange for the Vancouver Canucks’ 2020 first-round pick and forward prospect Nolan Foote. The Lightning owned the rights to the Canucks’ pick after trading forward J.T. Miller to Vancouver last summer.

The first-round pick carries a condition, which was initially set in the Miller trade. If the Canucks miss the playoffs in 2020, the pick defers to a 2021 first-round pick.

Coleman, who entered Sunday as the Devils’ leading goal scorer with 21 this season, had one year left on his contract at a very reasonable $1.8 million per season. That made him an attractive asset for many contending teams battling cap constraints.

Coleman was a precautionary scratch from Sunday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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Given Coleman’s production and value, the Devils needed to get something strong in return for the homegrown forward. And on the surface, it appeared they did.

If the Devils get the Canucks’ first-round pick in 2020, it will give them three in the first round of the 2020 NHL Draft, along with their own and the Arizona Coyotes’ top selection, acquired in December’s Taylor Hall trade.

The Canucks are currently in position to make the playoffs, sitting in second place of the Pacific Division, but they’re just six points ahead of ninth place in the Western Conference.

Foote was the 27th overall pick of the 2019 NHL Draft by the Lightning out of the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL. This season, Foote has 15 goals and 33 points in 26 games.

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