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.
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) August 2, 2019
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.
-19-20: $1.167M Hit / $2.33M Savings
-20-21: $1.167M Hit
— PuckPedia (@PuckPedia) August 1, 2019
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.
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.