LIGHTNING RE-ASSIGN GOALTENDER GERALD COLEMAN TO SPRINGFIELD
/ Tampa Bay Lightning
20-YEAR-OLD BECAME THE FIRST PLAYER FROM THE NHL DIVERSITY PROGRAM TO SKATE IN THE NHL
The 2004 Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning have re-assigned goaltender Gerald Coleman to Springfield of the American Hockey League today, it was announced by Executive Vice President & General Manager Jay Feaster.
Coleman, 20, made his first career NHL appearance Friday, November 11 at Atlanta. He made three saves on four shots in a relief role. He returns to the Falcons where he had a 3-2 record, a 3.21 goals-against average and a .895 save percentage in six games. A 6-foot-4, 205-pound native of Romeoville, Illinois, he spent the past three seasons with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), helping them to capture the 2005 OHL championship and the 2005 Memorial Cup.
In his three seasons in the OHL Coleman recorded many notable achievements, including a 169-minute scoreless streak in February, 2004 that earned him OHL and CHL Player of the Week honors as well as OHL Goaltender of the Month honors. He led the OHL in save percentage (.931) and shutouts (5) in 2003-04. Last season, Coleman posted an astounding record of 32-2-2 with a goals-against average of 1.70 and a .941 save percentage during the regular season, ranking first in the CHL in each category. His eight shutouts led the OHL, as did his 1.71 goals-against average in the playoffs. He was named OHL Player of the Week twice during the 2004-05 season.
Prior to joining the Knights, Coleman spent two seasons with the U.S. National Development Program and played for Team USA in the 2001 and 2002 World Under-17 Championships. When drafted by the Lightning in 2003, Coleman became the first member of the NHL Diversity Program to be selected by an NHL team. He participated in the 1997 Willie O'Ree All-Star Game, and helped coach the 2001 game at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa.