26-Year-Old Defenseman – Calgary Flames
Michael Stone Contract Information:
Signed a one-year contract with the Coyotes in July of 2016 worth $4 million.
Stone (shoulder) will return to the lineup Friday, Pat Steinberg of Sportsnet 960 The FAN reports.
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Michael Stone: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Stone saw his goal production drop from eight in 2013-14 down to three last year, despite playing more than 20 minutes per game for the first time in his career and putting a personal-best 144 shots on net. With Keith Yandle gone to New York, Stone is likely to see more extensive power-play time, which along with a bounce back in shooting percentage, could be enough for him to raise his goal total back up this season. He also offers excellent production in the some of the secondary categories like hits and blocked shots, which should make him more valuable in leagues that include those statistics even if his scoring total doesn't pick up. Stone could be a sleeper this year, as his skills will intersect with greater opportunity on a Coyotes roster that's still in rebuild mode.
Stone elated everyone by scoring seven times before the end of November, but potted just one goal thereafter. In spite of his steep downturn, Stoneís 21 points and 105 shots over 70 games werenít a bad showing in his second full season, during which he averaged over a minute on the power play. Stone should find himself among Arizona's top-four defensemen in 2014-15, but donít let the memory of last seasonís hot start outshine his projection. Heíll still offer plenty of value in deep leagues.
Stone won the favor of the coaching staff last season and played in 40 games after just 13 the year before. He tallied nine points, 89 hits and 64 blocked shots to go along with a plus-2 rating, and it isn't unreasonable to expect him to carve out at least a similar role next season.
Stone played in just 13 regular-season games for the Coyotes last year, but he was coach Dave Tippett's go-to choice during the postseason when the Coyotes found themselves thin on the blue line. Stone notched three points during his 13-game stint, but finished with an impressive plus-7 rating. If he doesn't stick on the roster after training camp this season, he'll almost assuredly will be with Phoenix throughout much of the season.
After scoring at nearly a point-per-game pace (69 games, 65 points) in the WHL, Stone saw his production drop dramatically in the AHL. The blueliner, who saw time in 70 games for the Rampage, tallied two goals and 11 assists with a minus-5 rating. What should have been an offseason where a strong training camp could have led to a potential roster berth has turned into what is almost assuredly another season in the AHL for Stone.
Stone might be the defenseman people know little about. In 2009-10 with the Hitmen he collected 65 points during the regular season; 21 of those points were goals and 15 of those goals were on the power play, which is one of the main reasons why Stone is getting a look. Even though he had success in the fishbowl of Calgary, the transition to junior level hockey to the NHL can quite steep. Therefore for 2010-11, Stone's destination will most likely be in San Antonio. He is already high on the depth chart for the Coyotes' prospects for defense, only behind Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Maxim Goncharov. The next step for him is staying there.