Stoll, 33, was a key figure in two of the Los Angeles Kings’ Stanley Cup runs as a shutdown center, but was involved in a high profile arrest last offseason at a Las Vegas pool for drug (cocaine) possession. In June, Stoll pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors, one of “provoking commission of breach of peace” and another of trespass.
The Rangers signed Stoll in the offseason to a one-year $800,000 contract to bolster forward depth on their roster. Stoll has just one goal and two assists in in 29 games played, mostly as a fourth liner. He has won near 57 percent of his face offs and averaged 13:47 of ice-time per-game. A year ago with the Kings, Stoll had 17 points in 73 games played.
The New York Daily News chronicled Stoll’s role on the fourth-line in a late November story.
Personnel have changed often on Stoll’s unit. His only consistent roles have been his critical presence on the Rangers’ third-ranked penalty killing unit and his standing as the team’s top face-off man (56.9%). He would like to be more involved offensively (one goal, two assists), but not at the expense of his defensive responsibilities. Defensemen often pinch down on the attack in the Rangers’ system, and Stoll said he “feels comfortable” being the forward that’s “supporting our D-men” from high in the offensive zone – even if, he admits, “I do error on the defensive side more than what I should at times.”
Said Stoll at his introductory teleconference last summer, “I know they lost (Carl) Hagelin and he was a great penalty killer so definitely would like to help them out in that aspect of the game in the dressing room. I take a lot of pride in being a leader and just the leadership qualities I have as a person and a player and teammate. Bringing that experience in the playoffs and winning a couple of Stanley Cups, it’s really hard to make the playoffs nowadays in the NHL.”
Stoll wasn’t the only noticeable waivers move Monday. The Anaheim Ducks placed goaltender Anton Khudobin on waivers as well. Anaheim acquired Khudobin in the offseason, presumably to be a backup goaltender at the NHL level. He is 3-3-0 with a 2.70 goal-against average and .908 save percentage.
With starter Frederik Andersen battling injuries, 22-year-old John Gibson has solidified his spot in the NHL in recent weeks with a 1.74 goal-against average and .934 save percentage. Andersen has played just 19:33 since his last start – Nov. 21 at the Tampa Bay Lightning. Gibson started the year with the Ducks' AHL affiliate in San Diego.
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