Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Katie Strang of ESPN,
The felony cocaine charge filed against NHL forward Jarret Stoll has been dismissed, multiple sources confirmed to ESPN.com.
Instead, Stoll will be charged with two misdemeanors stemming from his arrest in Las Vegas in April. Stoll was arrested on April 17 for possession of cocaine and MDMA while at a pool party on an unofficial end-of-season trip with his Los Angeles Kings teammates.
Stoll, 33, is not expected to return to the Kings. He will become an unrestricted free agent July 1.
Neither of the two misdemeanors are drug-related charges, however, so any potential immigration issues for the Canadian-born Stoll should no longer be an impediment should a team want to sign the veteran center.
via Katie Strang of ESPN,
Los Angeles Kings forward Jarret Stoll, who was arrested for possession of cocaine and Ecstasy in Las Vegas in April, has been charged with a felony drug possession.
According to the Clark County District Attorney's office, Stoll has been charged with one count of Possession of Controlled Substance.
Stoll, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent, could face anywhere from probation up to four years in prison if convicted.
The 32-year-old Stoll was arrested at a pool party after undergoing a routine pat-down while in Las Vegas on an unofficial end-of-season trip with his Kings teammates. He is not expected to return to the Kings organization.
from Damien Cox of Sportsnet,
A team that crashes out of the playoffs the year after winning the Stanley Cup should look more broken than the Los Angeles Kings do.
The Kings still have a strong core featuring an elite two-way centre and one of the finest defencemen in the sport. They have superb goaltending. They have an appealing blend of youth and experience. What they lack in footspeed they more than make up for in players ready to play a “heavy” game, and they are the apple of the analytics fraternity’s eye for their strong possession game.
Throw in stability and experience at ownership, the managerial level and coaching, and what’s not to like?
Problem is, 95 points wasn’t good enough to make the playoffs this year, which constituted a disaster for a team that has two Cups, one from 2012 and one from 2014. L.A. had walked this regular season highwire before, however, and this time the Kings took a tumble.
GM Dean Lombardi, one of the best in the game, has said he’s not expecting “major moves” this off-season, which seems sensible. Lombardi says he’s more concerned with players using this extended off-season to enhance their conditioning and be prepared to deliver more for 82 games next season and make sure this early vacation doesn’t re-occur.
from Katie Strang of ESPN,
"No one expected them to miss the playoffs," one Western Conference player said.
If it were just a matter of the two points by which the Kings missed the playoffs, Los Angeles general manager Dean Lombardi would lose less sleep. But there is so much more to digest -- and not just on the ice.
Defenseman Slava Voynov was arrested in October and charged with felony domestic assault against his wife, prompting the NHL to suspend him indefinitely. He is currently awaiting trial. In April, veteran leader Jarret Stoll was arrested on a drug charge, accused of possessing cocaine and MDMA, during an unofficial end-of-season trip to Las Vegas with several teammates.
They were unrelated incidents, likened only by the fact that Lombardi wishes, desperately, he could've done more to prevent them. And for a team that has always emphasized the concept of family, they were significant blows among many that sidetracked the defending Stanley Cup champions.
As the Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning battle for hockey supremacy in this year's Stanley Cup finals, Lombardi repeatedly asks himself: Were there warning signs? Should we have seen this coming? What could we have done to prevent this from happening?
And he has been tormented by these thoughts.
"This is my fault," he said.
from Lisa Dillman of the LA Times,
Weeks after Jarret Stoll was arrested on suspicion of possession of cocaine and Ecstasy, he met with his boss, Kings President and General Manager Dean Lombardi.
Lombardi was the man who traded for Stoll in 2008 and watched as the center became a team leader and helped spark the organization to its first Stanley Cup championship in 2012 and another in 2014.
"Probably one of the most gut-wrenching meetings I've had in my entire career, and I've had meetings with lots of players," Lombardi said of their talk last month.
These were Lombardi's first public comments on the matter since Stoll was arrested in mid-April in Las Vegas, shortly after the Kings' season ended. The defending Stanley Cup champions did not qualify for the playoffs and Stoll is due to become a free agent.
Lombardi conducted a conference call with reporters Tuesday and discussed the Stoll arrest and the Slava Voynov incident, issuing several mea culpas. Voynov's trial on a felony domestic violence charge is scheduled to start in July.
from Rick Westhead of TSN,
Los Angeles Kings forward Jarret Stoll will probably be able to negotiate a "slap on the wrist" after being arrested and charged in Las Vegas on Friday for possession of cocaine and another illegal recreational drug, says a former state prosecutor.
Michael Pariente, who has been a criminal defence lawyer in Las Vegas since 2006, said he's represented dozen of people accused of drug possession - many of them Canadian - and in every case, the prosecutor has offered first time offenders a plea deal.
Pariente said prosecutors in Clark County, Nevada, would probably allow Stoll to plead guilty to misdemeanour possession of a dangerous drug not to be introduced into inner state commerce. If he does plead guilty to that misdemeanour, Stoll, who was released Friday night on $5,000 bail, according to court records, would probably pay a fine of up to $1,000. He's also be required to take online drug awareness court, a computer course that requires about four hours of time but can be completed anywhere.
"It's pretty much a slap on the wrist," Pariente said in an interview. "Even if he was going to represent himself they'd make him an offer like this."
from Rich Hammond of the OC Register,
(on the possibility of re-signing Jarret Stoll and/or Justin Williams…)
LOMBARDI: ''I think those type of things, you talk to the players individually and tell them exactly what we’re going to be able to do. We’ve got two issues here. The reality is, we didn’t accomplish what we set out to accomplish, and we’ve got cap issues. What we’re going to be able to do here is probably more difficult than in the past. Then we also have this issue of, we don’t know what the cap (ceiling) is, and that’s really frustrating. … You hear a lot of speculation on where that thing is. So there’s a dramatic difference, in terms of what you’re talking about with the (salary-cap ceiling) spread. A million dollars might not sound like a lot, but for teams that have had success, that’s a lot. And we don’t know what that is, and we’re not going to know until whenever. … It puts us in a position where we’re not going to know, and we’re not going to know for another month. So you see what we tried to do here, in the meantime. (Jeff Solomon) did a fantastic job and got most of the young guys done. We pecked away at that during the year, and we’ve got two more of those kids out there. But we’ve cut that number down dramatically, with Martinez and Muzzin and Clifford and Nolan and Pearson....
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
So fatigue was certainly one of the issues the Kings could not overcome in becoming the first defending Cup champion to fail to qualify for the playoffs since the 2006-07 Hurricanes. But there was a fatigue of a different kind at work as well in L.A., for the fact is the players had become tired of Coach Daryl Sutter.
Slap Shots has been told by two sources that the Kings locked the door to their locker room following a defeat on the road within the last two weeks so that Sutter could not get in and deliver what the players apparently expected to be another in a series of lectures/tirades.
As the tale was told, after Sutter finally tracked down an arena operative to unlock the door, he was greeted by three heavy waste receptacles lined up as barricade to what had become an empty room.
Thus, it would be no stretch to suggest tension between the team and the coach, who led the Kings to those two Cups, was a significant issue as L.A. went down the stretch before their elimination Thursday night in Calgary following a shocking defeat two nights earlier in Edmonton, of all places.
more plus other hockey topics...
... there’s nothing systematically wrong with the franchise. What’s the opposite of that? An entrenched foundation systematically inclined to keep Los Angeles in contention year after year? The Kings play with terrific structure, perhaps the best structure in the entire league. They have maybe the league’s best development team. The culture and identity that the team has engineered has not been dulled. There is an elite core of Anze Kopitar (27 years old), Drew Doughty (25 years old) and Jonathan Quick (29 years old). The oldest player on the team was 34. On the other hand there is also Mike Richards’ deeply concerning contract, and in an environment in which the salary cap will tighten the club’s flexibility to trim fat and surround its core with experienced pieces, there will be challenges in continuing to add to the depth that had served the team so well....
-Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider where you can read more on the Kings...
The Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets are going to the postseason. What happened to the Kings? Hudler, Pavelec, Hammond, Habs defence and more in Scott Cullen’s Statistically Speaking.
After losing 3-1 in Calgary Thursday, the Kings are the first Stanley Cup champion to miss the next year’s playoffs since 2006-2007 Carolina Hurricanes.
The thing is, it’s not like the Kings collapsed. They were the league’s top possession club (getting 54.9% of score-adjusted shot attempts) and still have the 13th-best goal differential (+0.22 per game), which is better than three playoff teams (Anaheim, Detroit and Vancouver).
How does a team with those underlying numbers still end up on the outside looking in at the playoffs?
For starters, the Kings were 2-8 in shootouts and 1-7 in overtime games. Given the randomness involved in shootout results, that’s basically coming out on the wrong end of coin flips. 3-15 in overtime and shootout games, after going 12-8 the year before, is enough in tightly-contested standings, to come up short. Records in one-goal games tend to be unsustainable, but there's enough of them in hockey that they make a huge difference in the standings.
continue plus more topics from the games last night at TSN...
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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