Ducks defenseman Clayton Stoner, who played 227 games for the Wild, was upset with me and another Minnesota reporter for apparently, in his mind, spinning a quote he gave to the Orange County Register in January.
Stoner was quoted saying, "I didn't like the way it was run in Minnesota. They kind of just give one defenseman [Ryan 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 just the way things were run there."
Friday morning, Stoner said, "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. … 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 Suter and [coach Mike Yeo]. 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 [in Minnesota] and respect the coach, respect Suter. He's one of the best players in the league."
Gretzky staying on sideline
Wayne Gretzky told the Los Angeles Times that never is a long time, but he doesn't foresee himself having about a formal connection again with the NHL, even the potential expansion Las Vegas franchise that will be owned by Bill Foley, with whom he has affiliations.
"[Commissioner Gary Bettman] and [Deputy Commissioner] Bill Daly have always made it known privately, publicly, that I'm always welcome to be involved," Gretzky said. "Right now the reality is, for me, it's not a perfect marriage. But it doesn't mean that I don't respect the game and what they do and what the league is doing."
It takes a thief
After the Calgary Flames rallied from four goals down in the third period to get a point in Ottawa on Sunday, coach Bob Hartley quipped, "Let's leave the building before the [Ontario Provincial Police] shows up."