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For the eighth episode of the Devils Official Podcast, our guest is Blake Coleman.
Coleman was born and raised in Texas but found his way into the NHL where he's now an impact forward for the Devils.
In the podcast, Coleman talked about when he was playing junior hockey in the USHL for the Tri-City Storm and one day found he was traded almost 800 miles away to Indianapolis.
"I would have been 18, I believe. and that was crazy," Coleman remembered. "We were at home playing Des Moines and I think we were just over 20 games into the season. And my name wasn't on the board (in the dressing room). I walked in and I was like, that's not good."
Thinking he was a healthy scratch, Coleman went up and watched the game from the press box.
"I just went up top watching the game. Just angry, really. I was like, this sucks. But. after the game, coach calls me and he's like, Hey, like, you know, I'm sure it was probably weird you were not playing. I'm like, yeah. He's like, well, we've traded you to the Indiana Ice. They play Chicago two days from now. And if you can make it, great, if not, you know, they said there's no pressure."
Coleman was determined to make that game.
"I'm not gonna miss a game, so I load up the car. We drove 17 hours cross-country. I played the next day and against Chicago, score my first goal as a member of the ice and the rest was history."
Coleman went on to have a great season for the Ice, netting 34 goals and 92 points in 59 games the following season. He then went on to the University of Miami (Ohio), won a national championship. He talks on the podcast about his time in college, his early injury challenges in pro hockey and his NHL debut.
THE LEGEND OF THE PICKLE JUICE
Coleman also talked at length about why he drinks pickle juice.
"My family's all chronic crampers. My dad played tennis, football for a long time and had problems with the cramping. My brother, college tennis, same thing. and it's bad. It's to the point where I thought I was gonna have to quit hockey because I couldn't finish games," Coleman began.
"I would get into the third period and my legs would just start ceasing up. And, I tried everything to the point where I was pretty desperate and I was trying to just do whatever, like pouring salt down my throat."
It was when he was in Colorado that a teammate told him about pickle juice.
"He said, you've got to try this pickle juice for the altitude. So he had a jar of pickles. And, you know, I was like, all right, give me a little shot of that or whatever. So I took a few shots of his pickle juice and made it through the game cramp free for the first time."
He didn't quite believe that it was the miracle fix it ended up being.
"I was like, oh, that's a weird coincidence. So I tried it a few more times and that was it. I didn't cramp. I haven't cramped since in a game."
Coleman also talks in the podcast about his pickle juice company, P20, which he runs with his sisters.