After scoring the winning goal in Saturday nights game against the rough and tumble Philadelphia Flyers, Arizona Coyotes' defenseman Michael Stone (6g/30a) will be on the mend after he sustained a long term knee injury in the game. He got tangled up with Michael Raffl of the Flyers, and was wreathing with pain in his knees, which is never a good sign.
Stone Out, Grant In
It was disclosed by Head Coach Dave Tippett that Stone will be out for the remainder of the season. Tippett also announced that the team has recalled Alex Grant from their Springfield Falcons AHL affiliate to replace Stone in the lineup as a result. Grant plays a similar style as Stone, with a heavy right-handed shot, backed up by a physical presence. His 6' 4", 205 pound frame will help to fortify the defense of the team.
The Flyers game exhibited some brutal hits, also knocking Captain Shane Doan out of the game. He is listed as day-to-day, and did not play against the Calgary Flames last night in Glendale, Arizona. When Doan was hit high in the head by controversial Flyers Radko Gudas, he got up slowly and seemed dazed, as he was helped to the Coyotes' bench. He did not return to to the ice.
The physicality of the game also had the Flyers concerned about their Captain, Claude Giroux. He was shoved into the boards, compliments of center Martin Hanzal. He also seemed dazed and laid flat on the ice as if unconscious.
That caused a near brawl as Flyers Wayne Simmonds tried to get at Hanzal to retaliate. Simmonds was sentenced to a 10 minute misconduct, while Hanzel incurred a five minute boarding major, and a game misconduct for his actions. That resulted in a three minute power play, which the Flyers capitalized on to break Mike Smith's shutout.
Losing Stone, who was having a good season hurts the team. But more importantly, this could damage his status to come back healed next season. He is a restricted free agent after the season ends. The team was intending on keeping him on the roster due to his improved play this year.
Head Coach Dave Tippett had this to say to Coyotes' Dave Vest about Stone's injury:
“He’s played really well,” Tippett said. “He’s had a real good season. It’s disappointing. He's been carrying a lot of minutes, playing a lot of roles for our team. It's disappointing for him, but a hurdle he'll have to get over.”