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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.

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.

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.


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