Jarret Stoll was contrite when he met the media via conference call Monday after he signed a one-year deal $800,000 with the New York Rangers.
When asked about the association of his name and cocaine Stoll went on the offensive. Earlier in the summer, Stoll pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors stemming from an arrest for suspicion of cocaine and Ecstasy possession at a Las Vegas pool. These were Stoll’s first public comments on the matter since it happened. He spent the last seven years with the Los Angeles Kings before becoming an unrestricted free agent.
“I know what kind of person I am, I know what kind of hockey player I am,” He said. “People around me know what kind of person I am. For the outside world to think what they think, it really doesn’t have an impact on myself or the way I play hockey. That’s not who I am, that’s not the person I was brought up to be and anybody important in my life knows that.”
Stoll pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of “provoking commission of breach of peace” and another count of trespass. He was charged with a felony for possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) before the plea deal. He had to complete 32 hours of community service in 120 days.
He said the community service has been completed and the legal side of his issue is over. He has an upcoming hockey camp in Las Vegas.
“Nothing there to worry about personally or professionally,” he said.
Stoll was hyper complimentary towards the Kings organization – a group that has come under fire recently for his behavior as well as the domestic violence issues surrounding defenseman Slava Voynov and the contract termination situation of forward Mike Richards.
At the end of the call, Stoll went out of his way to thank the Kings for everything the team had done for him.
This included a meeting he had with general manager Dean Lombardi after Stoll’s arrest. Lombardi called the talk one of the toughest he’s ever had in his career as a general manager.
“It had an impact on me for both reasons, I think personal and professional,” Stoll said. “It was a great meeting. It was a tough meeting. I have a lot of respect for Dean Lombardi and the Kings organization. Dean brought me here seven years ago along with Matt Greene from Edmonton. Specifics are specifics and I don’t want to get into them, but it was a great meeting. It was an emotional meeting and we’ve been through a lot together. I expected it to be a tough meeting. It was and we moved on after that.”
There was little focus placed on the 33-year-old Stoll and his future as a player. It was more about him as a person. As well as whether the Rangers were making a mistake of bringing in a player with a documented drug history.
Stoll, a center, hasn’t scored over 40 points since the 2010-11 season. He has won two Stanley Cups, but there is some risk with him, even if it’s just for $800,000.
After his signing, the New York Post tweeted out the below ...
There’s also this NJ.com headline that said “Jarret Stoll, who dates Erin Andrews and made plea deal after cocaine arrest, signs with Rangers."
No matter how ridiculous both sound, both could be precursors of a distraction with Stoll and the New York media.
For the record, Stoll did say Andrews has been “awesome through this” and “it has been tough on her as well with everything that happened and her getting hit with some of the brunt too.”
This stems from some of the social media attacks on the sportscaster because of Stoll’s behavior.
New York general manager Jeff Gorton was asked about this and addressed it head-on.
“No. 1 you look at his history as a player, he’s been a winning player in the league a couple of times. You trace him back to his junior years, he’s won there. He’s always been in a leadership type role,” Gorton said. “We’ve talked to a lot of people who have played with him in the league and before he got to the league, talked to trainers and people who have dealt with him. It all comes out as a real character guy who made a mistake.”
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