26Michael Stone
Photo Credit: Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports

Michael Stone clears waivers, Flames officially buy him out

After placing him on unconditional waivers on Thursday morning, the Calgary Flames have officially bought out the final year of defenseman Michael Stone’s contract.

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Our pals over at PuckPedia outlined the cap savings of the buyout, as Stone receives two-thirds of his remaining $3.5 million salary spread out over the next two seasons – his cap hit is reduced to $1.167 million.

The Flames originally traded for Stone at the 2017 trade deadline, sending the Arizona Coyotes a 2017 third round pick and a conditional 2018 fifth round pick if he re-signed with the club. Brad Treliving re-signed him to a three year deal the day before free agency opened in 2017, triggering the condition.

Presumably the rationale behind signing the veteran is that he was a reliable defensive zone presence and the team wanted to buy their young defenders – including Rasmus Andersson, Oliver Kylington and Juuso Valimaki – a bit of development time. But when that trio kept pushing for NHL jobs, particularly Andersson and Valimaki, suddenly there wasn’t a lot of space left for Stone.

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Stone had a lousy 2018-19. He lost his regular spot in the rotation to Andersson, then spent much of the season on the shelf with a blood clot. Thankfully he’s healthy now and has an opportunity to go find a gig somewhere where he’s not going to be (a) blocking some kids from playing or (b) stuck in the press box himself.

  • mrroonie

    The Flames now have $7.75M in cap space, trade Jankowski for a pick or prospect and it goes up to $9.43M. Should be in the ballpark for signing Mangiapane and Tkachuk.

  • JusAFlamer

    2.33 mil savings … IF that the only move that going to be done fine. otherwise could have saved 1.025 by simply sending to minors. for 1 year rather than continuing to pay another 1.67 NEXT year as well. eventually need to stop running short due to buyouts being carried over.

    if did not impact cap in future years would be all for it, (or if there was not already cap taken by buyouts forcing this in first place) really hope that 2.33 means no more moves NEEDED (not that moves wont happen but so that not forced taking pennies on dollar on the assets do move since the other gm’s know we need space)

  • drogon

    The league is getting younger and there is a big reset going on. UFAs might become a large pool of PTOs. The NHL considers making players eligible for salary arbitration when their ELCs run out as an option for the current stalemate. We won’t see again a contract structured like James Neal’s anytime soon.
    Having the arena’s deal sealed should attract more assets. There will be more ELCs on team’s roster to remain cap compliant. Much more trading of assets can be expected before the 2021 Seattle expansion draft.
    So, a lot is going on. For us, we definitely need to get better. Playoffs results in the previous years are unacceptable, regular season is nice, but it’s all about winning the Cup!

    • Kevin R

      Something really has to give here but it isnt going away. The next CBA will be interesting as they discuss how to address this shift of players revenue $$$’s going to younger players coming off ELC’s. Players arent getting a bigger piece of the Revenues & the league isnt going to open up the Cap any at all. Not liking some of the deals Ottawa are doing, that may get tightened up where the cap floor will be actual salary $$$’s the teams have to pay. I still think even adding 1 or two buyouts that have no impact on the cap numbers is a way to address rich clubs manage their cap & the extra $$$ injected into players salary pool. They need to do something or the Cap will suck the life out of trades & rumours that many fans like us love to read about every day.

  • Flint

    Another buy-out. Hmm. I wonder if the league is starting to have a salary cap problem… in that, the contracts aren’t in line with the cap. For example…. If you take all the teams and all the salary cap space left the averages are that each team needs to add 1,3 players and there is only an average of 4,29million per player to do it before every team is at the cap. There is a league total of 186,562,642 in free cap space across all teams right now.

    So, with all the RFA’s still to sign that’s 27 x 7 million players. Sure, there’s space, but this puts everyone to the cap. Historically there are loads of teams who want to be at the floor.

    I don’t know if people get what I am saying, but it appears the salaries are raising faster than the cap can accommodate. And soon all teams will be at the cap with key players to sign!

  • The juice

    Do people forget we finished second in the league on overall points? I think we are sitting just fine. Talbot is an upgrade to Smith, and Lucic has a role that we needed fixing (Neal had no role). I’d be shocked if we didn’t finish near the top of the conference. We have all the players this team needs, the coaching staff just need to find a better strategy on team defence next playoff.

    • Kevin R

      Big knock on how slow Lucic is but both Gio & Hamonic said on radio interviews how Lucic is faster than people think. Gonna be an interesting year & I am looking forward to him getting some payback against the Oilers. Flip side of that is Neal will probably have his best games against us haha.

      • HAL MacInnis

        I think the consensus is that Lucic can skate fast enough in a straight line. He just can’t turn on a dime and accelerate like them little tykes can. As long as he’s alert and anticipates, he’ll keep up enough with the play and do just fine for us.

      • No , he is not. That is the exact reason he wasn’t on McDavids line for long. Maroon was no faster, but knew enough to be in the right spot, basically stole Lucy’s job right out from under him. As an Oilers Fan (Barely hanging by a thread), I do not understand this move by BT, he has done a great job compared to our ongoing gong show, have to wonder what the upside is for him. Gotta be missing something.

        • Kevin R

          Well when you watch as many games as I have & seeing no one really answer bigger bonehead players other teams do use in their lineup, he is a welcome addition. So I will probably be able to honestly answer your question as we see the games play & especially after the all star break when the intensity rises & the dirty play rises & the refs put away the whistles. If you recall, that was one of the first things Oilers did was get heavier players to surround MCDavid.

          • McDavid cut and bruised twice in one game against the Flames. Lucy did nothing, also had no interest in fighting any of his King’s buddies. I will say in the playoffs, he definitely raised the bar, even said himself he saves himself for the playoffs , Edmonton is not the place for that. Should be interesting if you make it next year, I see no reason the Flames wont make the dance.

    • Tongue Tosser 2004

      I have a snarlin itch that Lucic will be the missing piece the Flames are in need of… Especially in the playoffs!
      Everyone on this team just got bigger cahonas and 3 inches taller.