The charge against Kings forward Jarret Stoll has been lessened from felony cocaine possession to two misdemeanors.
Stoll was arrested in late April in Las Vegas for suspicion of possessing cocaine and Ecstasy. Earlier in the week he was charged with a felony for possessing cocaine. The arrest occurred at the Wet Republic pool at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas – the same hotel/resort/casino where the league held its annual awards Wednesday night.
The news on the changes was first reported by Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times.
The misdemeanors are "1) provoking commission of breach of peace and 2) trespass. 120 days to complete 32 hrs of community service." - via Katie Strang of ESPN.com.
Strang notes, Stoll's community service will be with the Salvation Army and organizing a hockey program for Vegas-area at-risk youths.
"Now that the case has been resolved I am committed to meeting all of my obligations to the Court and am grateful for the chance to offer guidance and share positive life lessons to kids as part of the resolution of this matter," Stoll said in a statement. "My focus remains on hockey and I am looking forward to getting back on the ice next season.”
As Rich Hammond of the Orange County Register tweets, this won’t impact any immigration issues with Stoll – who is Canadian.
So if you're a team that wants to sign the 33-year-old Stoll when he hits the unrestricted free agent market on July 1, you can do so.
Due to his declining numbers and now this … it seems like it would be hard for a team to take a flyer on Stoll. Then again, if someone signed Mike Ribeiro last offseason on a low, low contract, why not take a chance on Stoll, a key component on two Stanley Cup teams, as a reclamation project for value.
The NHL is full of players who got second chances – though some transgressions are kept in house.
But the chance of Stoll coming back to the Kings seems well … remote.
During the NHL Awards in Vegas, players were asked about the Sin City element of the place -- a potential spot for expansion. Stoll's situation was shown as a prime example for why the league should be cautious about Vegas. Though the harshness of the charge at the time -- a felony before Thursday -- was shown as an example of how the city was taking hard-charging athletes more seriously.
"We’re not going to come in here for 24 hours and party," Stars captain Jamie Benn said. "We’re going to come here to win a hockey game and do our job, there’s a lot of discipline in this league."
The league has officially said it will start looking more deeply into expansion with Las Vegas, Seattle and Quebec City being the top candidates. Vegas has never held a professional sports team from one of the four major leagues, the NHL, NBA, MLB and the NFL.
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