Clayton Stoner wasn't a happy camper when he played with the Minnesota Wild from 2009-2014.
In an Orange County Register article from Jan. 3, Stoner, who signed a four-year, $13 million deal with the Anaheim Ducks last offseason, said he wasn't treated fairly in Minnesota.
“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."
Wild Xtra says Stoner was likely referring to Wild star Ryan Suter when he said the Wild "just give one defenseman all the minutes." Suter leads the NHL with an average of 29 minutes and 29 seconds of ice time each game, according to NHL.com. According to Hockey Reference, Stoner played an average of 16 minutes and 12 seconds per game during his five-year career in Minnesota – and that number dipped to around 13 minutes last season.
Stoner also told the OCR that his new coach, Bruce Boudreau "trusts all the players on the ice." Michael Rand of the Star Tribune says Stoner was clearly taking a shot at Wild coach Mike Yeo and his former teammates.
Stoner has just one point in 35 games while averaging a little more than 17 minutes per game this season; but the Ducks believe its investment in the 29-year-old has paid off because Stoner has been the physical presence the team needed to help keep the puck out of the net.
While Stoner took an opportunity to rip his former team, he's still willing to stand up for his current teammates. Last Friday, Stoner stood up for Ducks star Ryan Getzlaf, who was knocked to the ice by a member of the St. Louis Blues. Stoner didn't win his ensuing fight, but he earned some stick taps from his teammates.