With the future of the 26-year-old Winnipeg-born forward completely up in the air as Deadline Day 2019 approached, General Manager Pierre Dorion and the Ottawa Senators determined that the best course of action for the appropriate direction of the Senators was to pursue a trade of the former Winnipeg Thrasher.
With Winnipeg already dealing for centreman Kevin Hayes, and Calgary ‘opting out’ of the sweepstakes, Ottawa sent their seven-year pro to the Western Conference’s Vegas Golden Knights in a trade-and-sign deal. The Golden Knights dealt their second round draft pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, defensive prospect Erik Brannstrom and forward Oscar Lindberg. Tobias Lindberg also went with Stone to Sin City.
Shortly after news of the trade broke, it was reported that Stone had signed an eight-year extension with Vegas, carrying an annual average value of $9.5 million. The new deal makes Stone Vegas’ highest-paid player, leapfrogging Paul Stastny, William Karlsson, Jonathan Marchesssault, She Theodore and Marc-Andre Fleury in that regard.
In joining the Golden Knights, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound forward continues the trend of Manitobans heading to Vegas. Led by Assistant General Manager Kelly McCrimmon (who also served as Stone’s Head Coach and GM in Brandon during his WHL career with the Wheat Kings) Stone joins Ryan Reaves (Winnipeg), Cody Eakin (Winnipeg), Cody Glass (Winnipeg), Keegan Kolesar (Winnipeg) and Zach Whitecloud (Brandon) as Manitobans within the Golden Knights’ system.
Now sitting third in the Pacific Division and sixth in the Western Conference, Vegas will look to improve on its 32-26-5 record with 19 games left to play. Currently on a three-game losing streak, the Golden Knights hope to see an immediate impact from the former Kirkfield Westwood inhabitant, as number 61 hopes to draw into Vegas’ lineup Tuesday.