Unsurprisingly, Ryan Stone isn't pleased with the Pens decision to relegate him (yet again) to the minor leagues. Any team will have a chance to claim him, but to be honest we can't see another team liking this unproven 23 year old any more than they like their own lower-line grinders currently on the roster.
Stone told the Wilkes-Barre media that he would like to move on, and there's nothing wrong with that. He feels like he's earned his chance to play at the NHL and if another team agrees, he'll be gone. These comments have made a little bit of waves on the internet, but we don't think Stone said anything egregious, Stone's not requesting a trade or airing any dirty laundry, he just understandably wants to play in the NHL and is disappointed the Pens don't want him there right now. If Stone makes it to WB/S, he says he'll be a good soldier and keep working on getting the team where it needs to be until his time may come.
As the article very astutely points out, Colby Armstrong was in the same situation getting sent down (and exposed to waivers) at the beginning of his 4th professional season and many thought his NHL chances were pretty much over forever.
By season's end that year (2005-06) Armstrong was playing on a line with Sidney Crosby.
Fortunes can indeed rise and fall very that quickly in professional hockey. Stone can look no further than a perfect example in Paul Bissonnette, who as we chronicled was very deep in management's doghouse last year and now this year is one of their darlings and a "strong candidate" to play for Pittsburgh at some point this season. A couple injuries and Stone--provided his attitude is up and his performance is there--could get a real shot in the show.
Until then, time to keep working.