If I've learned one thing covering the Arizona Coyotes for Five For Howling it's this, former Coyotes players don't do well in Alberta. At first it just seemed like it was Edmonton, but apparently former Coyotes struggle in Calgary as well.
Yesterday it was announced that the Calgary Flames will be buying out the final year of defenseman Michael Stone's contract.
Originally drafted by the then-Phoenix Coyotes 69th overall in the 2008 draft, Stone would prove a solid defenseman with a bit of an offensive upside for the Coyotes.
After spending time with the Calgary Hitmen in the WHL and the San Antonio Rampage and Portland Pirates in the AHL, Stone would make his debut with the Desert Dogs on February 18, 2012. After starting the 2012-13 season in the AHL due to the NHL lockout, Stone would stay with the Coyotes for the rest of his time in Arizona.
After re-signing a one-year deal, Stone as a pending unrestricted free agent would be traded to the Flames for a 2017 third-round draft pick and a conditional fifth-round pick in 2018 on February 20, 2017. The Coyotes would trade the third-round to pick to the Edmonton Oilers for the 82nd (Cameron Crotty) and 126th picks (Michael Karow) in 2017 and trade the fifth-round pick to the New Jersey Devils for Scott Wedgewood.
Initially it looked like Stone was fitting in well in Calgary. Brad Treliving, who was assistant general manager under former Coyotes general manager Don Maloney, would re-sign Stone to a three-year, $10.5 million extension.
Two seasons into that deal the Flames seem ready to move on. Stone was limited to just 14 games with the Flames last season and he spent 3 games with the Stockton Heat in the AHL. Coincidentally this offseason saw another former Coyote leave Calgary, with Mike Smith signing with the Edmonton Oilers as a free agent. With the buyout Calgary will be on the hook for $1.167 million over the next two years.
As a free agent Stone has a few options left in the Pacific Division. He could join Smith and coach Dave Tippett in Edmonton or if he wants to play with his brother Mike Stone he could sign with the Vegas Golden Knights.
Do you have any good memories of Stone and his time in Arizona? Do you think Calgary was right to buy out the final year of his deal? Feel free to comment below.