In an offseason of change, the Calgary Flames will be without blueliner Michael Stone in the coming season. No, he didn’t use his unrestricted free agent status to move on from the organisation, he instead announced his retirement from the NHL.
Stone retiring and what it means for Calgary
Stone calling it a career means that the Flames will have another empty spot on the roster in the defence corps, which could spell more ice time for newly-signed Jordan Oesterle, or a reason to call upon more prospects to fill the needed minutes. Stone didn’t player major minutes in the tail-end of his career, but he played his role to perfection as the extra defenceman.
Always ready to suit up and contribute, Stone was reliable in both being a team player and also taking his patented slapshot from the blueline.
Over 552 NHL games, Stone scored 41 goals and 104 assists. His career started with six years with the Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes, but ended with seven years with the Flames. However, he played 228 games in Calgary compared to 324 in Arizona. Stone’s career had its ups and downs but he’s the embodiment of perseverance, both on and off the ice.
Turning over a new stone
While most retirements mark the end of a player’s time with an organisation, this isn’t the case for Stone. Instead, he immediately joins the Flames as a member of the player development team. The blueline clearly has a love for Calgary, from re-signing with the team after being bought out, to signing umpteen one-year deals to prolong his career in Calgary.
Now, he and his family can be certain that they’ll settle in Calgary as Stone isn’t done being a Calgary Flame yet.
Congratulations Stone on the NHL career and on the new role with the Flames!