Defenceman Michael Stone re-signed with the Calgary Flames on a one-year, two-way deal, the team announced on Monday. The contract carries a $700,000 cap hit at the NHL level. Stone was previously brought in on a PTO.
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) January 18, 2021
The veteran blueliner enters his 9th NHL season, and 5th with the Flames, after the then-Phoenix Coyotes drafted him 69th overall in the 2008 NHL Entry draft. In 472 regular-season appearances, Stone has posted 31 goals and 93 assists for 124 points. Only 28 of those points have come with Calgary after they acquired him at the 2017 trade deadline. He added one goal in four playoff appearances that season.
The 2019-20 season
In 33 games last season, Stone scored two goals and added five assists for a modest total of seven points. He was primarily deployed alongside T.J. Brodie, one of the best shot suppressors in the NHL. They showed decently well analytically, as the pair’s Corsi and Fenwick both hovered right around the 50% mark. However, he struggled mightily away from Brodie. When playing with Oliver Kylington or Noah Hanifin, those numbers dropped to around an awful 40%. Yet, even that would be considered a drastic upgrade over his play with Rasmus Andersson. The pairing of Stone-Andersson was absolutely unacceptable, with their Corsi and Fenwick both being under 30%*. If that season was any indication, it was that Michael Stone was no longer a reliable NHL player.
*All stats courtesy of evolvinghockey.com
What to Expect From Stone
Being waived immediately after signing his new extension, it is clear that Stone will not be a regular player on the Flames roster. The team boasts more defensive depth than they have had in previous years, with the likes of Oliver Kylington, Juuso Valimaki, and Nikita Nesterov all making cases as legitimate bottom-paring options. Nevertheless, Stone should offer limited value as he serves as extra injury insurance in case the Flames face a string of injuries on the back end.