We don’t make a habit of checking the Orange County Register for news about former Wild players, but perhaps we should. We traced this quote back from former Wild defenseman Clayton Stoner to that fine publication, and there was some additional context as well about why he left Minnesota to join the Ducks. Per the OCR:
Stoner thought that his development with the Wild had reached its endpoint. Living in Minnesota was something the avid outdoorsman appreciated but working there was no longer to his satisfaction.
“I didn’t like the way it was run in Minnesota,” Stoner said. “They kind of just give one defenseman 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.
“That being said, I wanted a new opportunity. A new chance. Bob said that there’d be a good chance here. Everything so far has been good, if not better than I thought it would be.”
Stoner believes that he has in Boudreau a coach “that trusts all the players on the ice.” Boudreau said his defenseman has become an entrenched part of a group that he hopes will become a championship-caliber mix.
To be clear, Stoner was great for the Wild in the playoffs last year and got PAID by the Ducks, signing a four-year, $13 million deal. The Wild miss him for sure, but there’s only so much cap room. That said, it’s a little surprising to read Stoner’s words — it was a shot, for sure. Maybe a backhand, but still a shot. And it’s not an especially good thing for the Wild given the team’s recent struggles.