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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Flames place Michael Stone on unconditional waivers for purposes of buyout

For the second consecutive summer, Brad Treliving will be using the second buyout window to terminate a contract that he signed. According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Flames have placed defenseman Michael Stone on unconditional waivers for the purposes of buying out his contract.

Treliving bought out UFA signing Troy Brouwer last August under similar circumstances.

Stone, 29, joined the Flames from the Arizona Coyotes via a trade deadline swap in 2017 that sent a pair of picks (one definite and one conditional) to the desert. He was signed to a three year contact on July 1 that year, with the signing giving the club a reliable right side depth option with a $3.5 million cap hit. Aside from a blood clot last season Stone has been precisely as advertised: there’s nothing flashy about his game, but he’s a player that never really hurts his team either.

But the emergence of Rasmus Andersson pushed Stone to the sidelines last season and, barring a trade of another defender, the math just didn’t add up for the Flames. Buying out Stone will clear $2.333 million off this year’s cap, enough to squeeze a bare-bones roster under the cap ceiling. There are likely more moves coming to provide ongoing cap flexibility, but buying Stone out at least gets the Flames compliance with the cap in the most basic manner possible.

Provided Stone clears waivers, his contract termination would become official after Friday at 10 a.m. MT. The buyout window lasts until Friday at 10 p.m. MT.

  • Raffydog

    Wow you guys are all over the place. Im no fan of Tre’s but a few days ago you were all praising Treliving for the great Bennett signing, and now he is the worst gm in the league. I know most of you hate what I have to say, but at least I’m consistent.

    • MDG1600

      Raffy – I don’t think that’s a fair comment. I find people are generally consistent with their views. People can objectively feel that the Bennett signing was a good one while also objectively feeling that Treliving sucks at signing UFA’s. Those two thoughts are not mutually exclusive.

      • Raffydog

        Consistent? Are you trying to convince me or yourself? All last season, you couldn’t read a post on here without multiple people whining about Neal, and how he has to go no matter what. So they get their wish and now its, omg I cant believe they traded Neil. Now the sheep are all crying about buyouts, but if they would have bought out Neal its a good hockey move, but buying out Stone is the worst thing thats ever happened to the Flames? Good grief, pick a side and stick with it.

        • KootenayFlamesFan

          I often don’t agree with you but you nailed it this time Raffy! What’s done is done, Tre is in charge of the team. How about we at least wait until we’ve played some games to determine if he should be fired or not…

          • WoodrowWilson

            What a simplistic view of looking at things.

            Neal was highly criticized last year, and rightly so. Don’t think there were many people claiming he had to go “no matter what”–in fact, many on here were optimistic he was going to bounce back and have a better season. His trade out of here was also highly criticized, and rightly so, because we took on a much worse contract, but what will probably be a worse player, and all we got out of it was $500 in cap space and Neal out of the dressing room.

            I haven’t seen anyone claim that buying out Neal would have been a good hockey move. I don’t think any buyout should be considered a good hockey move. A Neal buyout would have been disastrous. BUT at least it was an option with Neal–it is not with Lucic.

            The Stone buyout wasn’t the worst thing to ever happen to the Flames. It was a stupid signing and the buyout was foreseeable from the day it was signed. It wasn’t a good hockey move, but it became necessary because the $2.33mm in cap savings was worth more than Stone.

            Try looking at things with a little more context and nuans and maybe you will be a little less irked by people’s opinions on a fan blog.

          • Kevin R

            Hahaha ditto. Dont expect buyouts to go away anytime soon either with the way they front load these contracts, the actual $$$ value to buyout isnt that bad but its the minimal savings in cap thats biting and going to bite a bunch of these GM’s. Circumvention is the name of the capology game.

        • BlueMoonNigel

          Neal being dealt revealed just how toxic the relationship was between Neal and the Flames, something few of us were aware of, thus the notion of giving Neal a second season to redeem himself is something a lot of us grudgingly accepted as a better option than buying out his remaining 4 years.

          Only the eternal optimists here thought there was a market for Stone at $3.5M. Some wisely suggested moving Stone while retaining the max of his salary, but there were no takers. Buyout was the only viable option but not the last piece of the puzzle as Tre has to reduce the payroll even more to lock up Chucky and Mangipane and have a kitty for TDL.

  • freethe flames

    So instead of bemoaning the past; we can’t change it. Ask yourselves what would you advice BT and his staff to do. By burying contracts we can probably get Tkachuk and Mangiapane signed.(it will be close). If we trade Frolik I would like to see some potential D depth added; even if they are just prospects. If we trade TJ it needs to be some help up front. The other pieces of Janko, Czarnik, Gilles and I would even add Kylington could also be up for discussion but in each case we would need to be adding them to get the right other piece. At this point if we get the 2 RFA’s signed under budget and don’t trade anyone we have an idea what are team may look like and TJ and Frolik might be TDL pieces that are moved depending on what is out there. Am I happy with the offseason; no. But could it have been worse maybe; could have it been better maybe but we don’t know the inside story. (Did ownership say no to a Neal buyout; WW ask your friend Connie)

    • Kevin R

      Wouldnt be the ed of the world to somehow be a contender & have two major pieces to sell at the TDL. Both Brodie & Frolik would net us a heck of a lot more at the TDL than they would now. Of course that assumes injuries dont occur that prevents us from trading them & then we have to keep them & get diddly squat when they walk July 1.

  • Gary

    Stone was expendable due to the unexpected and delightful rise from Andersson and Valmaki, we have a team that’s loaded with bonafide NHL players that teams like Edmonton can’t come close to matching. Tre has done a fantastic job, we came in 1st overall in the west last year yet some complain, that was a season of 82 games to remember. The Lucic signing may turn out okay, time will tell, I’ll judge Tre as being excellent so far, new season coming up. We learnt from being eliminated early last year, the team will remember

    • Bobby Bitman

      If some people on here *who will remain unmentioned, would stop worrying / comparing / focussing on Edmonton you may realize that while the flames have players that the Oilers “can’t come close to mathching” that’s not the point. The Flames were schooled by the Av’s. Full Stop. Edmonton is not going to be a problem for us – it’s many other teams that we have to worry about. Same with the regular season success. It’s the playoffs where this team has failed time and time again. The true facts are: we have a coach who has never had success in the playoffs and many would argue did not make the necessary adjustments and it could be said got out coached. Facts:
      We had several key players who sismply did not show up when it counted.
      We have a boat anchor Lucic contract and a tough player who, history shows cannot keep up
      Haven’t signed MT yet and who knows what he is asking or will sign for
      Gio had a fantastic year, but he’s 36
      Goaltending remains a question mark
      Yes, BT has made some good moves, but also some questionable ones that have lead to cap issues
      Hang on to “first in the west” if you must, but it means nothing with another first round exit, where the Flames were dominated (argue the OT games all you want – they lost is the bottm line.)

      Trash away FN but in all honesty, forecast to April 2020 and the Flames again finish first in the west…what does that really mean? Bupkiss, that’s what.