Ryan Stone Signs In Calgary

NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 12:  Center Ryan Stone #32 of the Edmonton Oilers  skates against the Nashville Predators on October 12, 2009 at the Sommet Center in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

I’d like to discuss Ryan Stone with the denizens of the Nation for a moment. The former Oiler has signed a free agent contract with the Calgary Flames, and while it’s a depth signing he’s a player I’m sorry to see leave the organization.

As many of our readers are aware, in an attempt to try and get some of the data that we know NHL teams track, a group of bloggers have been tracking scoring chances for a select group of teams. The process started with Dennis King, who tallied scoring chances for the Oilers this year over at mc79hockey.com.

The scoring chances +/- list breaks down like most people would probably expect. Three of the Oilers top four forwards by this metric last season were Dustin Penner, Ales Hemsky and Sam Gagner. There was, however, one other player in the top four; here’s the order:

  • 1. Ryan Stone
  • 2. Dustin Penner
  • 3. Ales Hemsky
  • 4. Sam Gagner

Many of our readers are also familiar with rate metrics; Gabriel Desjardins provides some at his website, behindthenet.ca. They help to balance out players with different amounts of ice-time, so that rather than seeing raw points we see points relative to time on ice. The usual metric is points recorded for every 60 minutes of ice-time. I’m going to use a similar metric, and show the five Oilers most likely to throw a hit on any given shift. The number is hits per 60 minutes of ice-time:

  • 1. J-F Jacques: 17.3
  • 2. Zack Stortini: 12.1
  • 3. Ryan Stone: 11.0
  • 4. Gilbert Brule: 7.5
  • 5. Fernando Pisani: 6.0

To be sure, I’m presenting him in the most favourable light here – we’re ignoring quality of competition, offensive totals, and a lot of other non-irrelevant factors. Stone came close to scoring on several occasions, but was not credited with a goal during his limited action last season. He also isn’t blessed with the feet of, say, Andrew Cogliano. Durability has been an issue over his career, at least in part because of the style of game he plays. In short: he’s a player with some noteworthy limitations and I’m not trying to make him out to be something he’s not.

That said, he’s also a physical player with size on a team that needs them. He’s a smart player who minds the defensive zone on a team that sometimes forgets that side of the game matters too. He can play all three forward positions and he’s got decent hands. He can fight a bit, too (hockeyfights.com gives him one win, one loss, and two draws last season):

Again, in short: he’s a fourth liner with a variety of talents, and a guy who looked last year like he could outplay fourth liners from other teams – unlike some of the players the Oilers have signed for next season.

The contract he signed wasn’t a particularly lucrative one: league minimum in the NHL, a hair over $100,000 in the AHL. That’s the kind of money Edmonton could easily have come up with, and I think there’s a case to be made that it wouldn’t be money wasted, even if Stone spent most of the year in Oklahoma City – the Oilers’ AHL team last year had similar needs to the big club, and one would think the Oilers would want to see massive improvements in their farm team given the fresh blood coming in and the move to a new town.

Of course, it’s also possible the Oilers wouldn’t have been able to sign Stone at the same money Calgary did: Stone’s from Calgary, and we don’t know if his history with the team this past season would act as a positive or a negative in any negotiations with him. I almost hope that was the case: Ryan Stone isn’t the kind of player that makes or breaks an NHL team., but he can be a useful cog in the machine at the right price.

      • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

        Glencross has game, speed and a decent set of hands — but a value decision was made on how much money he wanted. Oil thought he wasnt worth what he wanted … Darryl decided he was and besides he can earn outrider money when he isnt playing (I jest).

        Stone isnt any where the player Glencross is though but he does measure up in heart and willingness.

        Kenta question for the Flames Insider — Any truth to the rumour that Bobby Nilsson is surfacing in his birthplace to have a renaissance wearing his daddy’s #15?

      • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

        Can you explain to me how Glenncross “earned ” his contract last year with the Flames? I like his style of play but his stats don’t show it. Another player that was overpaid by Sutter, who continues to cripple the franchise by not managing his cap space.

    • Crackenbury

      Seriously? Only one prop and one reply to this one liner pure awesomeness of a comment?

      @Kent Wilson
      Don’t forget that Mazda-Miata-driving, high-school-party-attending loser, Phaneuf, loved sloppy seconds when he played for the Flamers!

  • Gregors dirty 'stash

    Look, every time somebody is waived or somebody signs elsewhere, the Oilersphere goes nuts with hand-wringing. The reality is that there are only so many spaces on the roster, Stone spent an inordinate amount of time on the IR, and there are other fish to fry.

    Yes, he’s a great guy and like you say, perhaps a good cog on somebody’s NHL team. But when the job of the GM is to overhaul EVERY aspect of the team, guys like Stone are given low priority, and if they sign elsewhere, so be it.

  • Gregors dirty 'stash


    So we have this potential sexy threesome of (MPS Eberle, and Hall)

    So how could this differ from the next best thing trio that was Gagner, Nillson and Cogs?

    Is it not the same thing (outside the fact Hall was first over all, ad Gagner was 6th)

    • MrCondor

      Hall was a 1st overall pick. Eberle scored 4 pts in 4 games at the World Championships after joining the team on the taxi squad. MPS lead his team in scoring at the World Champsionships and was voted to the tournment all star team.

      Of Nillison, Cogs, and Gagner, none were selected in the top 5 in the draft and between the three of them they have 1 game played and 0 points at WCs

      All signs point to the newest sexy threesome being better.

      • Gregors dirty 'stash

        Sounds good I hadnt realized that level of success, I knew they were sex on ice, but didnt relaize it was that classy!

        Sweet deal!


        And did you see the size of MPS he is like a truck!

  • Magisterrex wrote:

    Yes, he’s a great guy and like you say, perhaps a good cog on somebody’s NHL team. But when the job of the GM is to overhaul EVERY aspect of the team, guys like Stone are given low priority, and if they sign elsewhere, so be it.

    There’s truth in what you say. However, Stone was a player the Oilers owned the rights to all through April, May and June. So this wasn’t a situation where they simply didn’t get to him in time. It was a conscious decision not to re-sign him.

    Given the needs of both their NHL and AHL clubs, I don’t understand why.

    Obviously, it’s a move with limited impact on the club, but it’s also a move I have difficulty justifying to myself.

  • 9 Inches Uncut

    I’d say the addition of Ryan Jones and the new talent coming into the system have made him expendable.

    His bad knee probably isn’t helping matters.

    Look forward you your farewell to Pouliot article. (Or does LT have that one locked down?)

  • Saw a number of games in person last year and did watch Stone when he was on the ice.

    Agree with Willis on the goal production, physical presence (but Ill qualify my agreement with this) and willingness to fight aspects.

    But he is slow…I mean real slow. And didnt think he was particularly strong on the puck as he would play the man but often was dumped on his keister.

    Comparable is JFJ who is bigger and faster. Is there room on the roster for both of them? Not now…so its bye bye Stoney.

  • JohnQPublic

    The reality is that there are only so many spots on the roster.

    From Lowetide’s blog:


    It looks like it’s getting pretty crowded to me.

    • CitizenFlame

      Not that I care what the Oilers do but for their own sake if they put Hall in the #1 center he’s going to get eaten alive. He’s #1 overall and should be a great player for years to come, but they should protect him a bit at first. I think that Eberle will have a bigger impact in his rookie year than Hall. It’s a good thing that Lowe isn’t running the show on the ice still or you’d end up with Kid Line 3.0 trying to emulate the 80’s, and they’d get killed on a nightly basis.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    I guess he’s a decent enough 4th liner, but he’s was also likely the easiest guy on the roster to upgrade.

    I also wouldn’t call him big, his cousins is a friend of mine. The guy’s a pencil neck.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    All the things that people are saying are basically the truth, but I’m with you JW, I’m kind of disappointed to see him go. He strikes me as a “good soldier” and I noticed him when he was on the ice, for positive reasons.

    Plus his wife is really, really hot.

  • I like Ryan Stone, but realistically, where did you see him playing this year? He just won’t fit in the roster, especially if a rookie or two makes the line up (and you can almost bet that at least one rookie will make it).

    Ryan Stone is a good energy guy, but really he isn’t worth forcing someone else out for. Calgary can definitely have him.

    Also, Guy Flaming did a post up this week sometime about how some are speculating that Ryan Stone might miss the whole season due to complications in his recovery. I kind of doubt that the Flames would overlook that, however, so that probably has no merit.

    But at any rate, not going to lose any sleep over Stone being gone. Now, Ryan Potulny… I sure as hell hope he doesn’t sign in Calgary. At least that guy contributes on the score sheet. That would be a kick in the junk to see him sign there.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    So we sign him and we end up with no room on the team and he goes to CGY via waivers? Kinda figured they’d look in a different direction. To one dimensonal of a player and it’s time to bring in guys that can do more then just run around and hit.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    Are we actually talking about a guy that had 2 knee surgeries last year, was probably the slowest skater on the team and had a whopping 0 goals? Yes, he’s big and likes to hit. But these players are a dime a dozen in today’s NHL.

  • Crackenbury

    Stone has had a bad knee problem for a year or so.When you need multiple surgeries for meniscus damage at the age of 25,it doesn’t bode well for a hockey career. Why would the Oilers pay that money knowing this?

    • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

      Meniscus damage is pretty easy to fix now, although I think he has other issues with his knee that will end his career in the near future.

  • Crackenbury

    There are a limited number of roster spots available. We sign Fraser and Giroux for the 3/4 line, but somehow let Stone slip through the cracks. Stone may be a nice guy but he hasn’t shown anything as to why he should be ahead of these other 2 signings, other than a quantum physics calculation that shows he’s clearly the best player on the ice.

  • Crackenbury

    @ Crackenbury:

    Reading your comment, it appears that you just likened watching scoring chances and then adding up the results to quantum physics.

    This may suggest a lack of familiarity with the difference between addition and quantum physics.

    • Crackenbury

      Just not a big fan of stats for hockey. Stats are meant for baseball where you’re searching endlessly for something to focus on between plays. Stats never tell the story in physical contact sports.

      • Crackenbury

        Theoretically, stats could tell the entire story. Variability in scorekeeping and subjective decisions as to which data points are most important mean that stats certainly don’t tell the whole story, but they are still very useful.

        • Crackenbury

          You’re makin my brain hurt, but I do agree with what you said. Stats can tell part of the story, but a guy like Ryan Stone doesn’t have enough of an information pool to draw any meaningful statistical information from.

          It’s like saying a guy with 1 career hit with 2 at bats is hitting .500.

  • Original West Coast Oil

    I’d rather see the Oilers invest an additional million and sign Comrie instead. He plays tougher than his size, plays either wing or center and can teach the kids the danger of your ego getting too big at a young age

  • Original West Coast Oil

    I’d rather see the Oilers invest an additional million and sign Comrie instead. He plays tougher than his size, plays either wing or center and can teach the kids the danger of your ego getting too big at a young age

  • Oyo

    It can be hard to listen to Oiler faithful slagging the Flames…but some points have merit when you filter out the sarcasm and exageration from some.

    Both the Oil and the Flames are in need of depth, and the fact both sides are reading up about Ryan Stone points to the desperation we all feel. But you take that away and you have 2 teams heading in opposite directions. After years of hoping to lure the “Big” names to the City of Chumps via Free Agency to make the difference, Management and Scouting are getting it right and before you know…and it hurts to say this…the Oilers will be an exciting team to watch. I’m not saying they’re 3 years away from the cup A LA The Penguins or Blackhawks…but the pieces are being put into place. Time will tell what will happen…now if only you guys can get a bona fide #1 goalie!!!

    Down here we have a President and Gm who have gone “Green”. They seem to firmly believe in recycling and the future doesn’t look as rosey as it did 4 years ago. The cupboard isn’t bare, despite what you may read and hear, but our prospects have not worked out as hoped. A case can be made they have not had the opportunities to round out due to Darryl bringing in old “familiar” players to take the roster spots.

    Well…we may like “sloppy seconds” but at least we always pay our tab!

  • Oyo

    1. Flames Nation Board:

    Why are there so many oil fans on a flames board? Do you guys seriously have that much time on your hands to talk about this player? Wow…

    2. Contract:

    Oil fans are making a big deal about how lame this guy is; or how they will miss his toughness. Either way, the consensus is that the flames are dumb for signing him from oilland. Ok, the guy signed a 2 WAY $500K CONTRACT. We didnt break the bank for the guy, and realistically he is a depth player for the 4th line and will be the AHL usually, so seriously, get over this barely newsworthy signing already.

    3. Bored:

    All oil fans who took the time to talk smack seriously need to get a job to take up some of the free time that you clearly have.

    4. Hall:

    An amazing player who i’m excited to see play in our neck of the woods. He will do some tremendous things in the NHL. Contrary to the public opinion in Edmonton, he is still surrounded by overpaid-skating-garbage and will be in tough this year. Hall will put up points, make many highlight reels, and hopefully win the Calder. That being said, Oil fans will still be watching the TEAM LOSE on a consistent basis and finish last in the NW cuz they have only 1 good player. Remember; adding one player to a garbage roster doesn’t change much.

    5. Reality in Alberta:

    The Flames really don’t look to promising, nobody out here is calling for the Stanley Cup. We really have no idea what to expect, and maybe we won’t even make the playoffs. But Flames fans will still wake up in the morning, look at the standings, and see we are ahead of Edmonton; that will always make us feel better for our own teams inadequacies. Good luck to getting 1st over all again.

    – All Flames Fans.

    • Crackenbury

      And the voice of “Sutter Nation” has spoken!!! So suck on that lemon all you Oil Fans (LMAO).

      Your Point #1 – Willis is an Oilernation writer whose article was linked to that dead site you referenced…its this thing called the “internet” … maybe its a fad but people from different parts of the world can post comments to a common article.

      Your Point #2 – Fact is Stone is an AHL player who was a good soldier but is in fact lame given his knee problems.

      Your Point #3 – Bored? no. Passionate? yes. Fans in Edmonton arent some ‘johnny come lately bandwagon jumpers” who score ducats to watch hockey from some corporate season ticket holder. We buy them ourselves and support our team.

      Your Point #4 – Watching a young fast exciting team is entertaining hockey IMO. Its better than watching that leftwing lock defensive style that others play (cough cough…Flames). Getting the first overall pick again would be fantastic; first five would be great too. The new way to build in the NHL seems to be through the draft and not through signing high priced free agents or trading draft picks for mature players…and by the way I will be more that happy spending my money on my season tickets watching a young energetic team…By the way – how did the draft go for Calgary. Do they even hold a orientation camp for their young players? Huh…oh!

      Seriously though man…you think Calgary has been much more than a 2 man team — Sutter got real lucky picking up Kipper and he has carried the team on his back since he has been there. The only problem is that he can’t score goals!!! And the one to carry the whole offensive load has been Iginla and if he’s not scoring the Flames still lose 1-0.

      And finally Point #5 — I still get a kick out of the Calgary inferiority complex ….”As long as we’re better than Edmonton we are awesome” and thank you for wishing us luck at the draft next year…is Calgary going to be there?

      • D C

        Well point #1 I understand

        Point #2: is that I think we all agree he is an AHL player. However, he has the potential to be a good player from the sounds of it (its just his knee thats slowing him down, but I heard that he is all healthy now[no idea if thats correct]). And the flames need players with minimum paychecks outplaying their salaries because of all the unnessicaries (kotalik, Staios, etc.)Because of Stone’s knee injury he takes a lower paycheck than what he can POTENTIALLY make.

        Point #3: I believe any Canadian market is like that, don’t think people in Calgary spend $100 on a jersey that they only casually enjoy watching or just to fit in… And I also believe Emir still thought that it was a Flames board that all the Edmonton people were commenting.

        Point #4: Well I would love to watch a young fast and exciting team too, but I wouldn’t want to wait for years to see it finally come… (because if the Flames do that it will take years to do) So i’m happy that they are trying to do what they can with what they have. But if it does come to a point that they are like the oilers in the past few years, I would probably want to change of scenery/tactics too.

        I do believe that Kipper has been pulling this team, and Iggy is one of the strong contributers. But thats how this team is built, around those 2 dudes, thats why they are making that type of money.

        But I’d like to know how you know Sutter didn’t see potential in Kipper (because you said Sutter got lucky, he seemed like he had a sense that Kipper was good to make that deal). Sutter has made some questionable moves like the Jokinen deal, Phanuef deal and trade to get Staios, but he’s at least trying. You also forget the moves Sutter made bringing in Bourque, Cammalleri, Bouwmeester and getting the first Tanguay trade.

        Point #5: Uhmm, isn’t it only right that since we were actually better than our rivals to the north that we have the right to say we are awesome to our rival fans? I believe we have the right to say that. Whats so funny about that?

        • D C

          @ D C ..

          great rebuttal by the way.

          counter comment to #2 – And the point from the OilFan view is we have numerous versions of a “Ryan Stone type” player. I wont mention names but one that stung when he left town was Glencross but I dont think Stone is the next incarnation of Curtis Glencross. He’s more like Jamie Lundmark…servicable NHLer that is cheap … and Im not slagging Lundmark (happen to know the man and his family). Agree that the structure of the Flames is different…pay 2 or 3 guys big dough and plug in the holes with $1M guys.

          Can’t agree with your comment about any player expecting less because they are recovering from an injury. Happen to have a buddy who is an agent and the goal is to never admit there are injuries or even pre-existing health conditions. It devalues the player and also could result in the contract being void. Im sure that Stone’s agent has all the necessary medical clearance stating that his knee is nothing but 100%.

          counter comment to #4 – Oil Fans have gone through the years of making the playoffs then get bounced in the first-round except for one year where they caught lightning in a bottle (Calgarys did it too once) — if that is success then we disagree. The organizations are on different cycles in their plans and at some time unless Sutter turns the ship around the youth movement will hit the south too. And I was being somewhat sarcastic about Kipper…of course Sutter knew of the potential when he stole him from SanJose.

          counter comment to #5 – still too funny as in “sad funny”…so whats the goal in Calgary to beat Edmonton or to win a Stanley Cup? Sound like its just to beat Edmonton — so sad. Don’t know about Flame fans but the OilerNation is about “winning it all baby”. So much so that in the hey-days kicking Badger Bobs boys to the curb along the way was extracurricular — winning the Holy Grail was the goal.

  • Crackenbury

    Just not a big fan of stats for hockey. Stats are meant for baseball where you’re searching endlessly for something to focus on between plays. Stats never tell the story in physical contact sports.

    “Wins” are “stats”. So are points and goals.

    I hope you’ve never referenced wins, points and goals before.

    Some stats are pretty useful, they capture a lot of player skill. Like scoring chances, they capture the effect of strength on the boards, foot speed, “hockey sense” as it were, passing skill, etc. Truly they are rink-side reflections of what is happening on the ice.

    To be fair they capture a bit of the luck component too, the bounces as it were, what stat doesn’t? But not nearly as much as goals. Putting pucks in net (or keeping them out) is a business where a run of sevens can be the difference between thousands and millions.

    And of course you can never fully separate out the effect of opposition, teammates, coaching, etc. but you can try your damndest.

  • D C

    Ok well this thread being on both sites would make alot more sense. I was really wondering what was going on. I didn’t see anything in the article to suggest it was on two forums at once; and honestly, thats lame that it can even be done.

    But the whole idea of building through the draft to me is equal to building through Free Agency. I dont like Sutter’s under representation in the first and second round on a regular basis; but I’m glad we arent trying to give up another 5-7 years to gamble on rebuilds.

    Pens, Hawks, and this year the Kings will be the draft re-builders who are successful. However, Thrashers, Blues, and Islanders who still suck.

    There is no one right way to build a winning team…