NHL free agency: Flames sign Blake Coleman to six-year deal: Sources

Where Coleman fits in the Flames lineup

Hailey Salvian, Flames beat writer: We can confidently assume that Coleman will be a fit in the Flames’ middle-six.

Barring any significant changes, the Flames’ top-line should be set with the trio of Johnny Gaudreau, Elias Lindholm and Matthew Tkachuk. After that, things are a bit more open. Coleman could slot in on the second-line right wing, likely with Andrew Mangiapane playing on the left. That would give the Flames a second line with two players who can drive play, have a nose for the net and are reliable on the defensive side of the puck.

Or he could play the left side — he is a natural left-shot — on the third line with someone like Mikael Backlund up the middle. Either spot projects to be a nice fit.

Are the Flames done in free agency?

Eric Duhatschek, NHL senior writer: Short answer: No. They still need a goalie to backup Jacob Markstrom and bigger shape-shifting moves are still on the table.

But in Coleman, defenseman Nikita Zadorov and previously acquired Tyler Pitlick, they did meet a primary offseason goal of being a team that’s physically harder to play against. Coach Darryl Sutter’s fingerprints are all over all three moves.

How does Tampa Bay replace Coleman?

Joe Smith, Lightning beat writer: Well, Tampa Bay has to replace their entire third line, with Coleman, Yanni Gourde and Barclay Goodrow all gone.

The team will lean on their young players like Ross Colton and Mathieu Joseph to take on bigger roles, as well as Alex Barre-Boulet, Taylor Raddysh, Boris Katchouk. They may also bring in veterans like Charles Hudon to compete.

They not only lose a strong two-way player in Coleman but one of their best penalty killers.

(Photo: Scott Audette / NHLI via Getty Images)

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