His wife is a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, his daughter is his good luck charm, Friends reruns are his salvation and pickle juice saved his career.
Meet Blake Coleman, the only born-and-raised Texan to win a Stanley Cup.
Yet, he doesn’t own cowboy boots.
He’s not your average hockey player.
And he’s doesn’t have your typical family.
As famous as Coleman is as a two-time Stanley Cup winner whose skill set earned him a six-year, $29.4 million deal with the Flames, his wife Jordan has performed in front of more people than he has.
Not just as a cheerleader for Dallas’ iconic group for three years, but later as a college football sideline reporter with CBS.
“She reminds me of that actually,” laughed the 30-year-old, who started dating his sister’s childhood friend after she spent three years on the Cowboys sidelines.
“She says, ‘Don’t forget I used to do things.’ I know it bums her out that I never got to see her in that role, performing. There were 80,000 people in (AT & T Stadium), so I’d say she’s had bigger crowds in her career.”
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Coleman will take centre stage Thursday at Amalie Arena, where he’ll gather with former Bolts teammates to receive his latest championship ring hours before facing off in a game that will include a video tribute welcoming back the popular winger.
“It’s special, obviously,” said Coleman after Wednesday’s practice at his former rink.
“I was thinking while I was walking down the tunnel, I was kind of flashing back to last time I was on that ice and I think it was 3 a.m., with a few bottles of champagne in me, and my whole family out there on the ice and just running around with my daughters out there.”
His family will be right there with him again Thursday, sharing plenty more laughs and smiles as part of a whirlwind three years in which his stock skyrocketed.
As fun-loving Texans, it should have surprised no one when Coleman and Jordan arrived at a team Halloween party in New Jersey a handful of years ago as each other – her wearing Devils hockey gear and him sporting tight white shorty shorts as a Cowboys cheerleader.
“He actually got cat-called that night, getting out of the Uber,” laughed Jordan, who will also receive a commemorative Cup ring from the Lightning Thursday.
“Some guys across the street whistled at him and then he turned around and did a hair flip, they saw his beard and they were just repulsed. It was really, really funny.
“Oddly, I think he enjoyed it.”
“That’s my proud moment,” he laughed.
Married two-and-a-half years ago at Texas wedding that included cowboy hats as part of a dance routine to Old Town Road that Jordan choreographed, the duo started a family that includes Charlie, almost 2, and Carson, who was born last June.
They were included in this year’s clever Halloween costumes, as Coleman Campers.
In November, Jordan brought the girls back to Arlington, Tex. where the Cowboys celebrated the 60th anniversary of their iconic cheerleading team.
Bringing Charlie to hockey games, when possible, always seems to bring the best out in Coleman.
“We started bringing Charlie in Tampa when she was really little and I think my goals per game is over one when she is there,” said Coleman, whose defensive prowess made him one of 465 men who’ve won at least two Cups.
“It’s just kind of a strange coincidence. My wife likes to bring her, but it’s exhausting, so the first five or six games she came to I scored every game. So, I was all over my wife about making her come to all the games.”
True to form, Jordan and Charlie showed up for the Flames home opener when daddy scored.
“Oh my gosh, it was just so special,” said Jordan.
“They have a really special bond, probably because she came out looking just like him. It’s like she’s his mini-me. He loves having her there.”
The two insist their decision to pick Calgary over a large number of options this summer has surpassed expectations in terms of lifestyle and team dynamic.
Living south of the city, the wide-open spaces remind them of Texas, and the upbeat attitude of Calgarians has blown them away.
They’ve even learned to embrace the cold weather, as his recent Twitter post with frozen hair in a hot tub can attest.
None of his success could have been possible without pickle juice.
“I’ve had bad leg cramps since college — I thought I was going to have to retire,” said Coleman of the same massive gams that earned him that special Halloween attention.
“I literally couldn’t get through games. I tried everything: salt stuff and hot shots and Gatorlites and nothing worked. My buddy in Colorado said ‘you’ve got to try pickle juice.’ I remember in football it’s fairly common, at hot games in Texas players will drink pickle juice.
“I said, ‘I’ll try anything.’ I’ve been good ever since.”
Between periods he disgusts teammates by taking pickle juice shots out of a thermos provided by the team’s strength coaches.
“In Jersey, I took a penalty and I asked one of my teammates to bring the jar over across the ice,” he said.
“I was chugging pickle juice out of a jar and it went viral. Everyone in Jersey knows me as ‘Pickles.’ It’s good for hangovers too!”
If that sounded like a sales pitch, so be it, as Coleman started his own pickle juice line before Covid hit.
“I had about 20 companies send me their pickle juice or their brine to try, and I was getting shipments of random people’s pickles,” smiled Coleman.
“Then fans would bring in pickles they made. It was weird. But then I decided to make my own, partially because I wanted sports bottles so I could dispose of them after the game. We partnered with one of the brine companies and we ran a batch of 3,500 bottles or so. I took a chunk of those and we sold off the rest. It was a fun little thing.”
Not quite as much fun as Friends, which he watches daily.
“I basically watch it every night before I go to bed or before a pre-game nap – I’m just a big fan,” said the former University of Miami (Ohio) star.
“It kind of gets my mind away from everything. I’m one of those guys.”
Asked if he was Joey fan, a Chandler fan or a Ross fan, his wife laughed.
“He really likes Joey, but he loves Rachel, Jennifer Aniston,” said Jordan, who admits she too has gotten into the show.
“It’s his long-time celebrity crush. I heard she was maybe at the hotel they were staying at in New York (earlier this season) and I said, ‘go find her and tell her that she is your crush.’”
But there isn’t much he hasn’t done of late.