The Coyotes’ first move before the trade deadline came Monday when they traded defenseman Michael Stone to Calgary for the Flames’ third-round pick and a conditional fifth-round pick in 2018 on Monday. The conditional pick kicks in if Calgary re-signs Stone.
Stone played six seasons with the Coyotes after the team selected him in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft in the third round (69th overall), but it was widely expected he’d be traded because the team had not held meaningful contract talks with his agent, Craig Oster, since the summer.
Coming off ACL and MCL surgery, the 26-year-old signed a one-year deal last summer for $4 million. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason. The Coyotes will retain half of his salary in this trade.
The 6-foot 3-inch Winnipeg, Canada, native played in 45 games this season. He had nine points on a goal and eight assists in 20 minutes of ice time per game.
In total, Stone played 324 games with the Coyotes, recording 96 points on 24 goals and 72 assists in 6,409 minutes on the ice. He played in all but one of Arizona’s games in 2014-15 but enjoyed his best statistical season in 2015-16 when he achieved six goals and 30 assists.
The Coyotes shipped Stone away just over a week before the NHL trade deadline to a team battling for a wild card spot in the Western Conference. Calgary’s general manager is Brad Treliving, who previously served as the Coyotes assistant GM and knows Stone well. Entering play Monday, the Flames held the second and final wild card playoff position with 62 points, just ahead of Winnipeg (61 points), Los Angeles (60 points), Vancouver (58 points) and Dallas (56 points).
When the possibility of a deal was mentioned last week, Stone shrugged.
“I’m just focusing on playing hockey right now. That is completely out of my control so whatever happens, happens,” Stone said. “In a perfect world, we wouldn’t be in this situation and we would have had something last summer but we’re not and there’s nothing I can do about that.”
Stone couldn’t help but wonder if things might have been different had he not suffered the knee injury last spring.
“It’s possible it would be different. I had a pretty good season up until that point,” he said. “But that obviously helped me get the deal I’ve got right now, too. It’s a bit frustrating how I’ve played this season and not building on what I did last year. I know I’m capable of doing that, though.
“Like I said, I can’t control what’s going to happen and whatever comes, I’ll go with that.”
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