FARMERS BRANCH, TX - Native Texan hockey players in the NHL remain few and far between these days so it becomes a big event when one of the native sons come home as Blake Coleman will on Tuesday night when the Devils face the Dallas Stars.
Coleman will be playing in front of over a hundred friends and family at American Airlines Center.
"It's cool. We've gotten to do it a few times, so it's cool to come back and be around, where you grew up around the game. And, it seems like a lot's changed around here, but also a lot has stayed the same."
The Dallas Stars practice rink has Coleman in its Texas Hockey Hall of Fame wall.
Video: DEVILS NOW | Blake Coleman's Homecoming
"I played my final two years here. I played Midget hockey in the locker just down the hall. And, we had some really good teams. Lost in the national championship game our last year."
Interim head coach Alain Nasreddine was asked about what Coleman brings to the team and he had high praise.
"He's exactly what a New Jersey Devil is," Nasreddine began. "He plays the way we want this team to play. I'll use him a lot as an example when we talk to the team.
"He comes in ready to work every practice, every game, every shift and is a good example for our young guys. We were joking about it this morning, he had a little more energy than usual, being back home. So, yeah, he's a very, very important, player to our team and a core player."