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Flames sign Blake Coleman to six-year, $29.4M contract

New York Islanders centre Mathew Barzal (13) knocks the puck away from Tampa Bay Lightning centre Blake Coleman (20). (Chris O'Meara/AP)

The Calgary Flames have signed forward Blake Coleman to a six-year, $29.4 million deal.

Coleman is coming off back-to-back Stanley Cup championships with the Tampa Bay Lightning after joining the club at the 2019-20 trade deadline. He brought versatility and sandpaper to the lineup and was widely considered the missing piece to the team’s contending core — all at the bargain price of $1.8 million per season. His new deal with Calgary brings a significant raise, with a $4.9-million cap hit.

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The signing is a bit of a surprise, considering the Boston Bruins were looking like front-runners to land the Texas native leading up to Wednesday’s opening of free agency.

In 55 regular-season games with the Lightning in 2020-21, Coleman registered 14 goals and a career-high 17 assists for 31 points. In a combined 48 playoff games over the course of two Stanley Cup runs with Tampa, he added eight goals and 16 assists for 24 points.

The 29-year-old is capable of playing all three forward positions and will bring stability to the club’s middle-six as general manager Brad Treliving navigates what’s looking like a crucial off-season on offence.