Blake Coleman
ESNY Graphic, Getty Images

The New Jersey Devils shockingly traded Blake Coleman to the Tampa Bay Lightning, but the forward left fans with a heartfelt note.

Sunday was far from an ordinary day in the hockey community and for New Jersey Devils fans especially. “Hockey Day in America” played the role of host for two trades, one of which sent Blake Coleman to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Interim general manager Tom Fitzgerald’s decision to trade Coleman, the heart and soul of the Devils, left fans in shock. Like any good teammate and class act, Coleman left a farewell note for all of Jersey to read.

It was short and sweet but personable and appreciative of New Jersey fans. The trade and note leave fans with mixed emotions. Coleman blossomed into one of the league’s biggest surprises this season, emerging as a skater that can clearly net 20-plus goals a year.

What’s ironic about the note is the fact that his battery level was at 21%. Coleman scored 21 goals this season with the Devils prior to the trade.

Jersey’s faithful are left torn in large part because Coleman seemed like a player that the Devils would keep during the unique rebuilding process. Selling off certain skaters is understandable—Wayne Simmonds, Sami Vatanen, and Greene all fit that bill. But Coleman’s presence as an energetic veteran is something New Jersey could use during the rebuild.

While the fanbase’s reactions are split over the Coleman trade, it’s likely the move is for the better of the organization and the skater. Coleman joins a Stanley Cup favorite in Tampa, and New Jersey earned a top prospect with the addition of Nolan Foote and a 2020 first-round draft pick.

Fans shouldn’t be surprised if more notable trades unfold in the Garden State and await another “thank you” note or two.

Kyle McKenna is a freelancer who covers the NHL for Elite Sports New York, Hooked On Hockey Magazine & Fansided. Follow him on Twitter @KMcKenna_tLT5 and use the hashtag #McKennasDigest to have your NHL questions featured in an article or answered over his weekly NHL podcast.