For Stoll, Los Angeles nostalgia, New York excitement - LA Kings Insider

After taking part in an informal summer skate at Toyota Sports Center today, newly inked New York Rangers center Jarret Stoll joined members of the media on a conference call to discuss the one-year, $800,000 contract he recently signed.

In the call, Stoll indicated that his agent began referencing New York as a possible destination “two or three weeks back,” and that there were other teams that they also communicated with. Stoll spoke about how the Rangers “kept coming and coming” during the courtship process, and that it would be a good opportunity to be able to play in New York and at Madison Square Garden. Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton, President Glen Sather and Head Coach Alain Vigneault were all a part of the communication with Stoll’s camp.

As for the legal details following Stoll’s April 17 Las Vegas arrest that resulted in two non-drug related misdemeanors, the former Kings center said that “there’s nothing there to worry about,” and that his required community service has been completed.

“I’m just excited about moving on,” he said. “Signing with the New York Rangers is the first step in moving on, and getting back on the ice and helping that team win.”

While the desire to move past his off-ice incident was reinforced during his conversation with the media, so was his emphasis that the seven seasons he spent in Los Angeles represented a fulfilling time, professionally and personally. Before he exited the conference call, after all questions had been asked of him, he asked to make a closing statement, and used it to praise the Kings.

“I just wanted to thank Phil and Nancy Anschutz, Dean Lombardi, Luc Robitaille, Darryl Sutter, Dan Beckerman, obviously all the staff,” he said. “All the staff and my teammates, there are lots of great memories over the last seven years. It’s been quite a ride. … Looking back, you get emotional every time looking back at all those great times, winning two Stanley Cups. I just wanted to thank everybody in the organization and the fans. Obviously you don’t win and you don’t have that great support without those fans. The Kings organization definitely has that, so I wanted to thank them as well. I’m just looking forward to moving on, but I had a great time here in L.A. for seven years, so thank you to the Kings organization.”

LAKI was involved in meetings this morning and sends a powerful stick tap to Yahoo! Puck Daddy’s Josh Cooper (his article: here) for supplying the audio of the conference call. Several pertinent observations, including the nostalgia he expressed towards his tenure with the Kings, are transcribed below.

Jarret Stoll, on whether he was nervous over whether he’d be signed:
No, I wasn’t. Obviously everything that happened happened, and I had to kind of take care of that. I know what I can bring to the table. I know what kind of person I am. I know what kind of player I am. I can play a lot of different roles, I will play anywhere in the lineup. I just want to help the team win. I have won before, and I just want to be within a good group that can do that again. Knowing that, knowing what I can provide for a team, no, it never wavered. I just stayed positive. I had a great support team around me that I’ve spent a lot of time with. I just trained like I normally train, and [was] looking for a training camp somewhere. I knew that would happen. I was hoping that would happen. I just stayed positive throughout it.

Stoll, on the conversation he had with Dean Lombardi in the wake of his arrest:
Well, it had an impact on me for both reasons. I think personal and professional, 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.

Stoll, on whether New York is getting a “bad guy,” and how he’d defend himself to fans:
I know what kind of person I am. I know what kind of hockey player I am. The people around me know what kind of person I am, and for the outside world, to think what they think, it really doesn’t have any effect on myself or the way I play hockey. That’s not who I am, that’s not the person who I was brought up to be, and anybody important in my life knows that. What I’m focusing on now is playing for the New York Rangers, helping that team win, and getting to New York and playing in Madison Square Garden. It’s an exciting time. There’s no reason to discuss the past right now. I’m part of the New York Rangers organization, and that’s an exciting time, and I think that’s where moving forward and past all this is what I’m thinking about right now. I appreciate the question – it’s a tough question to answer – but I know who I am as a person, .

Stoll, on the support from family and friends, and what he has gone through emotionally:
I’m a pretty strong guy who can block out a lot of stuff. Sometimes that’s good, sometimes that’s bad. But I just remained positive. I was hoping and I knew that something would work out. My family, first off, my parents, my brother, my sister, they were always there for me, coming down to LA to visit and to be with me. My girlfriend, Erin, she’s been awesome through this. It’s been tough on her as well with everything that happened and her getting some of the brunt, too. But she’s been awesome throughout this period, and all of my buddies in L.A. I spent the off-season in L.A., so a lot of my Kings teammates, I hang out with them a lot. They were all there for me. Part of the Kings’ staff, part of the organization, they were all there for me [and were] great. My buddies back home in Saskatchewan as well, so there were a lot of people that support me, and as a person, like I said earlier, I know what kind of person I am, and I feel like I’m a positive person who cares a lot about others. What happened was tough, and it is what it is. … Like I said earlier, as well, the past is gone. I’m not going to go back to that. Right now is an exciting time. That’s what I’m going to focus on. I appreciate all the questions coming, but you guys all know better than anybody the past is the past, and the future is what’s exciting and what people are looking forward to.

Stoll, on whether he figured that he wouldn’t return to Los Angeles:
Yeah, it crossed my mind a couple times. Yeah, I kind of got the sense that that was happening. There are a lot of teams now in the league that are against the cap. It’s a very tough situation I think we’ve all seen it with free agency this year. The money is a little bit down from previous years, and the contracts are a little lighter. Yeah, I kind of got that feeling. In my head, maybe I was 50/50, mentally preparing to move on, and mentally preparing to maybe be around here. It was a tough thing to think about, being in a spot for seven years. It was a tough thing leaving Edmonton and coming [to Los Angeles], but now it’s leaving a great organization here but going to another great organization in New York, so I’m excited.