Since being picked up via trade from the Arizona Coyotes back in 2017, the Calgary Flames have kept defenseman Michael Stone on the roster in some capacity since then. Looks like little has changed as Sportsnet’s Pat Steinberg reports that Stone has agreed to a player tryout contract with the club.
Flames general manager Brad Treliving said that bringing in Stone on a PTO was all about depth, according to Steinberg. The GM said that considering the compact season, NHL teams may need as much depth as possible, possibly going as deep as 10-11 defensemen. Treliving also said that no contract has been handed to Stone. He will have to earn a contract during camp.
Stone was a regular in the lineup with Arizona in his five-plus years with the team from 2011 to 2017, but while he had a full-time role with the Flames in 2017-18, his role has diminished over the next few years. He played in just 14 games in 2018-19 with a blood-clotting issues amongst several injuries he dealt with and began to look like an overpriced depth player. In August of 2019, the Flames chose to buyout Stone, who had a $3.5MM cap hit. The cost of the buyout required cost the team $1.17MM last season and will still be hitting the team this season. However, the team shocked many when they turned around and signed Stone to a minimum salaried deal a month later and have held onto him.
Stone played in 33 games last season for Calgary as the team’s seventh defenseman, scoring two goals and seven points.