Ryan Stone Signs In Calgary

NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 12:  Center Ryan Stone #32 of the Edmonton Oilers  skates against the Nashville Predators on October 12, 2009 at the Sommet Center in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

I’d like to discuss Ryan Stone with the denizens of the Nation for a moment. The former Oiler has signed a free agent contract with the Calgary Flames, and while it’s a depth signing he’s a player I’m sorry to see leave the organization.

As many of our readers are aware, in an attempt to try and get some of the data that we know NHL teams track, a group of bloggers have been tracking scoring chances for a select group of teams. The process started with Dennis King, who tallied scoring chances for the Oilers this year over at mc79hockey.com.

The scoring chances +/- list breaks down like most people would probably expect. Three of the Oilers top four forwards by this metric last season were Dustin Penner, Ales Hemsky and Sam Gagner. There was, however, one other player in the top four; here’s the order:

  • 1. Ryan Stone
  • 2. Dustin Penner
  • 3. Ales Hemsky
  • 4. Sam Gagner

Many of our readers are also familiar with rate metrics; Gabriel Desjardins provides some at his website, behindthenet.ca. They help to balance out players with different amounts of ice-time, so that rather than seeing raw points we see points relative to time on ice. The usual metric is points recorded for every 60 minutes of ice-time. I’m going to use a similar metric, and show the five Oilers most likely to throw a hit on any given shift. The number is hits per 60 minutes of ice-time:

  • 1. J-F Jacques: 17.3
  • 2. Zack Stortini: 12.1
  • 3. Ryan Stone: 11.0
  • 4. Gilbert Brule: 7.5
  • 5. Fernando Pisani: 6.0

To be sure, I’m presenting him in the most favourable light here – we’re ignoring quality of competition, offensive totals, and a lot of other non-irrelevant factors. Stone came close to scoring on several occasions, but was not credited with a goal during his limited action last season. He also isn’t blessed with the feet of, say, Andrew Cogliano. Durability has been an issue over his career, at least in part because of the style of game he plays. In short: he’s a player with some noteworthy limitations and I’m not trying to make him out to be something he’s not.

That said, he’s also a physical player with size on a team that needs them. He’s a smart player who minds the defensive zone on a team that sometimes forgets that side of the game matters too. He can play all three forward positions and he’s got decent hands. He can fight a bit, too (hockeyfights.com gives him one win, one loss, and two draws last season):

Again, in short: he’s a fourth liner with a variety of talents, and a guy who looked last year like he could outplay fourth liners from other teams – unlike some of the players the Oilers have signed for next season.

The contract he signed wasn’t a particularly lucrative one: league minimum in the NHL, a hair over $100,000 in the AHL. That’s the kind of money Edmonton could easily have come up with, and I think there’s a case to be made that it wouldn’t be money wasted, even if Stone spent most of the year in Oklahoma City – the Oilers’ AHL team last year had similar needs to the big club, and one would think the Oilers would want to see massive improvements in their farm team given the fresh blood coming in and the move to a new town.

Of course, it’s also possible the Oilers wouldn’t have been able to sign Stone at the same money Calgary did: Stone’s from Calgary, and we don’t know if his history with the team this past season would act as a positive or a negative in any negotiations with him. I almost hope that was the case: Ryan Stone isn’t the kind of player that makes or breaks an NHL team., but he can be a useful cog in the machine at the right price.

  • Gregors dirty 'stash

    JW

    So we have this potential sexy threesome of (MPS Eberle, and Hall)

    So how could this differ from the next best thing trio that was Gagner, Nillson and Cogs?

    Is it not the same thing (outside the fact Hall was first over all, ad Gagner was 6th)

    • MrCondor

      Hall was a 1st overall pick. Eberle scored 4 pts in 4 games at the World Championships after joining the team on the taxi squad. MPS lead his team in scoring at the World Champsionships and was voted to the tournment all star team.

      Of Nillison, Cogs, and Gagner, none were selected in the top 5 in the draft and between the three of them they have 1 game played and 0 points at WCs

      All signs point to the newest sexy threesome being better.

      • Gregors dirty 'stash

        Sounds good I hadnt realized that level of success, I knew they were sex on ice, but didnt relaize it was that classy!

        Sweet deal!

        Thanks

        And did you see the size of MPS he is like a truck!

  • Gregors dirty 'stash

    Look, every time somebody is waived or somebody signs elsewhere, the Oilersphere goes nuts with hand-wringing. The reality is that there are only so many spaces on the roster, Stone spent an inordinate amount of time on the IR, and there are other fish to fry.

    Yes, he’s a great guy and like you say, perhaps a good cog on somebody’s NHL team. But when the job of the GM is to overhaul EVERY aspect of the team, guys like Stone are given low priority, and if they sign elsewhere, so be it.

    • Crackenbury

      Seriously? Only one prop and one reply to this one liner pure awesomeness of a comment?

      @Kent Wilson
      Don’t forget that Mazda-Miata-driving, high-school-party-attending loser, Phaneuf, loved sloppy seconds when he played for the Flamers!

      • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

        Can you explain to me how Glenncross “earned ” his contract last year with the Flames? I like his style of play but his stats don’t show it. Another player that was overpaid by Sutter, who continues to cripple the franchise by not managing his cap space.

      • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

        Glencross has game, speed and a decent set of hands — but a value decision was made on how much money he wanted. Oil thought he wasnt worth what he wanted … Darryl decided he was and besides he can earn outrider money when he isnt playing (I jest).

        Stone isnt any where the player Glencross is though but he does measure up in heart and willingness.

        Kenta question for the Flames Insider — Any truth to the rumour that Bobby Nilsson is surfacing in his birthplace to have a renaissance wearing his daddy’s #15?