Two sources are reporting that Michael Stone of the Arizona Coyotes has been traded to the Calgary Flames in exchange for a third round pick and a conditional fifth round pick in 2018. Arizona will retain 50% of Stone’s salary for the duration of this season.
A third round selection (69th overall) in 2008, Stone played two additional seasons in the WHL before joining Arizona’s AHL affiliate. He made his debut with the Coyotes on February 18th, 2012. In his time with Phoenix/Arizona, Stone scored 24 goals and 72 assists in 324 games, including a six goal, 30 assist season just last year.
However, his career best year was cut short after his ACL & MCL were torn in March of 2016 after getting tangled up along the boards with Philadelphia’s Michael Raffl. When he returned to the Coyotes this season, he played only four games before suffering yet another serious injury - this time a concussion - while playing the Philadelphia Flyers.
Since then, Stone just hasn’t looked quite the same. He has just one goal and eight assists in 45 games this year. In the past, his offensive acumen could compensate for the occasional injury or defensive breakdown. This year, it simply hasn’t.
Arizona receives the fifth rounder if Stone re-signs with the Flames this offseason. Given Stone’s familiarity with former Coyotes assistant general manager and current Flames general manager Brad Treliving, it’s entirely possible that Stone might opt to stay in Calgary.
With Stone’s departure, Martin Hanzal and Radim Vrbata are two of the highest profile trade targets remaining. Perhaps this move will set off a flurry of other moves as the Coyotes try to stay ahead of other possible sellers on the trade market.
In the short-term, look for Kevin Connauton to draw more regularly into the Coyotes’ lineup, while Zbynek Michalek or Jamie McBain could also make their way back to the Coyotes. Kyle Wood and Anthony DeAngelo are two candidates to replace Stone on the right-side over the long-term, but are needed right now for Tucson’s AHL playoff push.