It’s not Halloween yet, but if you like scary stories, Mark Stone has a good one for you, especially if you suffer from ophidiophobia, which is a fear of snakes.
The Vegas Golden Knights captain was asked about goaltender Robin Lehner and how the temperment of the team’s locker room may have changed with the departure of Marc-Andre Fleury and Ryan Reaves — two individuals whose personalities dominated the room.
“He’s got a great personality,” Stone said of his goalie, setting the stage for the tale. “He gives us a chance to win every night. His numbers were good in Buffalo, his team wasn’t.”
Now comes the scary part.
“We were having a discussion before practice (today) about the size of snakes and we argued how big snakes are,” Stone said. “(Lehner’s) got a lot of interesting things to say about a lot of topics.
“We had an end-of-the-year party after we lost (to Montreal) and Robin’s over at my place digging snake holes in my backyard. Next week, I go into my backyard and there are five snakes in my pool.”
Stone, who got married last month to longtime girlfriend Hayley Thompson, said all’s well domestically.
“Everything’s great,” he said. “Married life hasn’t changed my routine.”
On the ice, Stone is looking forward to seeing the Golden Knights try to take that next step.
“We’ve brought in a lot of character people and I don’t think it’s going to mess up the dressing room,” he said, “(Evgenii) Dadonov’s going to help us on the power play. I’ve known Patty (Nolan Patrick) and I think the change of scene will help him.
“We’ve got a lot of good pieces up front. When we get Tuchy (Alex Tuch) back, we’ll have the best group of forwards I’ve ever played with. I think we’ll have a hard group to defend against on a nightly basis, rolling out four lines, three pairs of D and our two goalies.”
In Stone’s first season as the Golden Knights’ captain, he scored 21 goals and had 40 assists in 55 games. He’s looking forward to playing a full schedule against the entire NHL.
“The last couple of years have been a little strange, playing in the bubble and not having a full season last year,” he said. “Hopefully we can get things back to normal.”