Monday, February 20, 2017

NHL trade review: Flames acquire defenseman Stone from Coyotes

The Calgary Flames have acquired defenseman Michael Stone from the Arizona Coyotes for a 3rd round draft pick in the 2017 NHL draft, and a conditional 5th round pick in the 2018 NHL draft. Let's get into details.
     The Flames have defensemen Dougie Hamilton, Mark Giordano, T.J. Brodie and Dennis Wideman, who are playing top 4 minutes. Last year, the Flames traded another top 4 guy in Kris Russell to the Dallas Stars (he now plays for the Edmonton Oilers), losing a big part of their defensive core. They get a guy like Stone, to go into the top 4 and move Wideman to the third pairing with Jyrki Jokipakka or Deryk Engelland. Stone can go alongside Brodie or Giordano on the second defense pair, and help the Flames to a playoff run. The Flames are currently in the second wild card spot in the western conference (4th in the Pacific division) with 62 points (they have a record of 29-26-4), but teams like the Winnipeg Jets, Los Angeles Kings and the Vancouver Canucks trail closely. All they gave up is a third round pick and possibly a 5th rounder as well (the condition on the pick is if the Flames re-sign Stone this offseason, because he can become a UFA on July 1). Stone, who has a goal and 8 assists (9 points) in 45 games this season, (he's also a -5 on a terrible team) can help the Flames for the rest of the season.
      The Coyotes are 2nd to last in both the western conference and the NHL (they are last in the pacific division) with a record of 20-30-7 for 47 points (the Colorado Avalanche are in dead last with a record of 16-38-3 for 35 points). They have 2 main players who are an upcoming UFA, and have been trade targets for other teams. Those players are Stone, and C Martin Hanzal, who could be dealt soon. They did the smart move to get value out of Stone. They are in a rebuild, and Stone being a UFA doesn't help that. They could sign Stone on July 1st, though. The Coyotes will also retain 50% of Stone's $4 million contract.
       Stone has spent all of his six year NHL career with the Coyotes, with his rookie season being 2011-12, when they were called the Phoenix Coyotes (they changed to Arizona, though they didn't relocate, before the 2014-15 season). He has 24 goals and 72 assists (96 points) in 324 career NHL games.

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