Is Michael Stone a star defenseman, or one who’s without flaws? No, but if the Arizona Coyotes are shopping him around – as the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson reports – then teams should at least take a look.
This HERO chart backs up the story you may already know from looking at his stats or watching him play: Stone has his issues defensively, yet he’s a pretty nice scorer from the blueline.
As the NHL learns some lessons from the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Stanley Cup run (namely, that you can mask defensive issues in many cases if you get guys who can keep the puck moving), someone like Stone can be a nice asset as a specialist.
Stone generated a career-high 36 points in 75 games for Arizona last season, and he’s also done reasonably well with a 21-point performance in 2013-14 and 18 in 2014-15.
He’s logging plenty of ice time, too.
Now, he’s doing so on a Coyotes team that’s obviously not setting the world on fire, yet there could be a Justin Schultz parallel here.
If a quality team adds Stone to their mix in a protected role – solid power play time, friendly zone starts and matchups – they could very well get a nice boost. And, with the Coyotes still in rebuild mode, it’s tough to imagine them driving too hard a bargain in a hypothetical trade.
While it’s true that Stone is the sort of player who might not work out in every scenario, there’s enough talent that he could, and at a bargain rate. Plenty of teams crave defensive help, so why not give Stone a low-risk, medium-reward shot?
(H/T to Rotoworld.)