Calgary Flames forward Blake Coleman has been suspended one preseason game and one regular-season game. This suspension stems from a boarding call in a preseason game against Winnipeg Jets forward Jansen Harkins.
Calgary’s Blake Coleman has been suspended for one preseason game and one regular season game for Boarding Winnipeg’s Jansen Harkins. https://t.co/E9EsokYFd5
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) October 7, 2021
Blake Coleman Suspended For Boarding Jansen Harkins
Coleman, who was signed this offseason to a six-year, $29,400,000 contract ($4,900,000 per year), laid a hit down low in the defensive zone on Harkins. The hit looked fairly similar to the Nikita Kucherov suspension against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2019 playoffs. While in his own end, with the Flames down 2-0, Coleman was engaged with Harkins along the boards. As Harkins neared the corner boards, Coleman partially peeled off him. Harkins then tripped over Coleman’s stick, falling to his knees. Coleman skated back in tight and laid a hit from behind on Harkins.
When watching the play, you can see Coleman lowers his shoulder and directs a hit to the head of Harkins. While he did not have a ton of speed and the force behind the hit wasn’t great, Coleman should know better. Considering he did not have a prior history of suspensions or fines, Player Safety slapped him with, essentially, a one-game ban.
What This Means Going Forward
With the one-game suspension, Coleman will miss the Flames season opener on October 16th, 2021. That game is the Battle of Alberta contest, in Edmonton, against the Oilers. However, he will be back for the Flames home opener against the Anaheim Ducks on October 18th. As for the preseason, he will not be a part of the Flames final preseason contest on October 8th against the Jets.
Coleman is the Flames first-line right-winger and a prized off-season acquisition. Losing him for any amount of time will hurt the Flames. Considering their first match is against the Oilers, it becomes an even bigger loss. The Battle of Alberta is a high-octane and emotional contest, and there’s no question the Flames want desperately to beat the Oilers. Coleman, especially with his hard-nosed style, would have been crucial to their game plan. Unfortunately, due to a very irresponsible decision in the preseason, they will have to prepare without him.