Jarret Stoll’s time is done in the City of Angels, and the veteran center is heading to the Big Apple.
According to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, Stoll and the New York Rangers have come to terms on a one-year deal worth $800,000, which is a far cry from the three-year, $9.75 million contract Stoll is coming off of with the Los Angeles Kings.
The 33-year-old center is coming off of a difficult off-season in which he was arrested and charged for alleged drug possession. The charges were dismissed and Stoll instead pleaded guilty to two reduced misdemeanor charges in late June.
Stoll had spent the past seven seasons with the Kings, but with Los Angeles looking to shakeup parts of its roster after a disappointing 2014-15 season in which the defending Stanley Cup champions missed the post-season, Stoll was one of a few veterans who were let walk.
At one time, Stoll was a lock for near 20-goal seasons, but over the past four years in Los Angeles he hasn’t been able to crack the 10-goal plateau. In fact, as he heads to the Rangers, Stoll is coming off of the worst offensive campaign of his 12-year career. In 2014-15, Stoll managed just six goals and 17 points in 73 games while averaging the lowest average ice time of his career, 15:29, since his rookie season in 2003-04.
One of Stoll’s most useful qualities is his ability in the faceoff circle, however. While there’s argument in the advanced statistics community over the exact value of a faceoff victory, it’s undeniable that Stoll has had a proclivity for winning draws throughout his career. The Rangers made it clear how much they value Stoll’s faceoff ability in announcing the signing.
“(Stoll) has won 55.4 percent of faceoffs he has taken in his career (6,834-for-12,339), and he has posted a faceoff win percentage of 51 percent or higher in every season of his career,” the Rangers said in a release. “In addition, he is one of three NHL players (among qualifying skaters) who have posted a 51 percent faceoff win percentage or higher in every season since 2003-04, along with Joe Thornton and Pavel Datsyuk.”
Since coming to the Kings in 2008-09, Stoll has led the Kings in faceoff percentage in six of the past seven seasons, posting a winning percentage below 54.5 percent only once. Unfortunately, the one time Stoll hasn’t led the Kings in the past seven seasons — and the one time his winning percentage has been below 54.5 percent — came this past season.
That said, the Rangers probably want Stoll to play a minor role and it’s unlikely he figures in the lineup as more than a depth pivot for the Blueshirts. In all likelihood, he’ll be rounding out the club’s fourth line. As a player who has factored in on a Kings team that has captured two of the past four Stanley Cups, Stoll also brings a veteran presence and a winning pedigree to New York. The Rangers have been to the past two Eastern Conference finals, including a Stanley Cup final appearance against Stoll and the Kings in 2013-14 which Los Angeles won in five games. Stoll assisted on the opening goal in the series deciding fifth game.
Over his 792-game career, Stoll has notched 140 goals and 379 points. He has also scored an additional 10 goals and 26 points in 93 career playoff games.
With the signing, the Rangers now have less than $900,000 available in salary cap space, according to General Fanager.