Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Flames assign Michael Stone to AHL on conditioning stint

In a move that indicates just how close he is to returning to action, the Calgary Flames have assigned defenseman Michael Stone to the American Hockey League’s Stockton Heat on a conditioning stint.

Stone, 28, has been out since Nov. 23 due to a blood clot (and the lengthy recovery process from that blood clot). He’s been practising with the main group for about a week or so and is cleared for contact, so the next step is to get him into game action. Since it doesn’t make a ton of sense for him to be thrown into the deep end that is the final 16 games of the NHL schedule, he’s been sent to the farm to get his feet wet.

Per the CBA, Stone will continue to count against the Flames’ salary cap and as one of their NHL roster players during his conditioning stint – but bringing him back up won’t count as one of their limited number of post-trade deadline recalls. Stone’s recall can last to a maximum of 14 days, so he’ll be back in the NHL by (or before) March 19. The Heat are scheduled to play four games during that window, so expect Stone to get a lot of reps in to see if he’s ready to jump back into the Flames lineup.