Pretty busy day on the ol’ war of words front.
This time, it’s former Wild and current Ducks blueliner Clayton Stoner, objecting to how his comments about ex-head coach Mike Yeo — and Yeo giving Ryan Suter so many minutes on defense — were presented by Wild writers, including the Star-Tribune’s Mike Russo.
Today, when asked about that quote, Stoner said he was disappointed and hurt by the way we portrayed his quote, saying, “You guys twisted that story. The story wasn’t anything about the Wild. It had to do with me liking the way the coach coached the back end on our team.”
I asked him to clarify. He said, “Well, as a player, I like to play more minutes, right? So who wouldn’t? It’s just common sense. I said I really liked how the coach here disperses the minutes and has trust in everybody, and that’s all I said. The article was about me, it wasn’t about any other team.
“I didn’t call out [Ryan] Suter and the coach. … I like how they have trust in everybody here. Everybody’s got 18-24 minutes. I like that. It’s great as a player. It shows confidence in me. That’s it. That’s all. It’s refreshing, but am I calling them out? I had a great time here and respect the coach, respect Suter. He’s one of the best players in the league. Why would I call them out?”
At least in what I wrote, not sure where I twisted anything. I wrote it pretty straight.
Stoner’s original comments appeared in the O.C. Register in early January and, in Russo’s defense, appear to be pretty straightforward.
“I didn’t like the way it was run in Minnesota,” Stoner said at the time. “They kind of just give one defenseman [Suter] all the minutes and the rest suffer.
“And I wasn’t happy there. I don’t think the minutes displayed how I was playing. It was more of the just the way things were run there.”
Russo also noted that “the beat writer who wrote the article” — the Register’s Eric Stephens — is currently in Minnesota, and verified the accuracy of Stoner’s quotes.