For a team just a few years removed from a Stanley Cup and really only one season removed from being a titan in the Eastern Conference, there sure is a lot of chaos surrounding the Boston Bruins right now.
Kings center Jarret Stoll’s future brightened drastically Thursday, as his felony cocaine possession charge was dismissed and reduced to two misdemeanors.
Stoll was arrested in April at the Wet Republic pool at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nev., for suspicion of possessing cocaine and ecstasy and, earlier this week, received the felony cocaine charge. If convicted, Stoll faced a maximum of four years in a state prison, though he could’ve received a suspended sentence and probation at the discretion of a judge. But the felony charge was dismissed after Stoll pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors.
The analytics crowd are quick to point out the possession-dominating Kings missing the playoffs was a stats anomaly. The purists say possession stats mean nothing if you don’t possess a playoff spot after 82 regular season games. What can’t be argued is Los Angeles played a league-high 64 games the past three playoffs. The time off this spring will do their bodies good.
Jarret Stoll, a center with Los Angeles Kings, has been charged with felony cocaine possession following his arrest two months ago in Las Vegas, Nev.
The Clark County district attorney’s office charged Stoll, 32, with one count of possession of a controlled substance.
According to a police report, on April 17 Stoll admitted to possessing 3.3 grams of cocaine and several capsules of ecstasy during a routine search at MGM Grand’s Wet Republic pool.
According to an Associated Press story, District Attorney Steven Wolfson wouldn’t comment on why the charge only included cocaine possession.
Stoll’s attorney, David Chesnoff, told AP he has had discussions with Wolfson and hopes the case will be resolved shortly.
Stoll is scheduled to appear in court July 1. If he’s convicted, the charge carries the possibility of up to four years in prison or probation.
By Rachel Villari
“This is the first time I’ve ever played ball hockey,” said Corey Perry. Wait, what? The star right winger for the Anaheim Ducks, partner-in-crime to Ryan Getzlaf, 2007 Stanley Cup winner, two-time Olympic gold medalist for Team Canada, Peterborough, Ont. native had never played ball hockey before? We couldn’t believe it either.
American collegiate defenseman Mike Reilly told the Columbus Blue Jackets Wednesday he would not be signing with them despite the organization drafting him in the fourth round (98th overall) in 2011. And via a pointed message on social media shortly after the news, Blue Jackets star center Ryan Johansen told Reilly he wouldn’t be missed in Columbus. Read more
It’s the debate that never really ends – which NHL position do you absolutely need a star at in order to win a Stanley Cup championship? – and it likely won’t end by the end of this column. But the impact of Chicago’s Duncan Keith and Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman on the 2015 Cup Final adds more evidence to what many see is an overwhelming pile of it that favors one position: you can win a Cup without a traditional No. 1 superstar center, and you can win one without a cream-of-the-cream-of-the-crop goalie, but you cannot hoist the most storied trophy in professional sport without the presence of a workhorse, perennial Norris-Trophy-candidate defenseman.
Keith has averaged more than 31 minutes through 22 games, and Hedman is leading his team with nearly 24 minutes of ice time on average. Both are arguably the respective Conn Smythe Trophy candidates as playoff MVP. They’re out there virtually every other shift, usually taking on the opposition’s top players. And considering how Steven Stamkos and Patrick Kane have had scoring issues in this series, Hedman and Keith are doing what they’re being asked to do in all aspects.
This isn’t a new phenomenon. Seven of the past eight Cup-winners employed a blueliner who could command control of the play in a manner few of his peers could. Two of the past three years, the L.A. Kings have sent the gazelle-like Drew Doughty over the boards more than 27 minutes per playoff game. In Chicago’s most recent two Cup wins, Duncan Keith has averaged nearly 28 minutes a game. When Boston won it all in 2011, Zdeno Chara was on the ice some 27.5 minutes a night. When the Red Wings won their last championship in 2008, Nicklas Lidstrom gave his team nearly 27 errorless minutes per game. The Pittsburgh Penguins were an anomaly in 2009 – Sergei Gonchar was their most-utilized defenseman at 23:02 per game – but when the Ducks won it in 2007, they had an incredible three defensemen averaging more than or a shade within 30 minutes each game (Scott Niedermayer and 29:50, Chris Pronger at 30:11, and Francois Beauchemin at 30:33). Take away just about any player from their aforementioned championship squad, and there’s no assurance that squad would have its name etched on the Cup. Read more
Buffalo Sabres GM Tim Murray made headlines Thursday afternoon when he said the team has considered buying out the contract of 25-year-old winger Cody Hodgson.
Hodgson signed a six-year contract in September 2011 valued at an average annual salary of $4.25 million, but his production slipped in a big way this past season as he managed just six goals and 13 points in 78 games. Hodgson, who was drafted 10th overall by the Canucks in 2008, hasn’t quite panned out to be the big star the Sabres were hoping for when they acquired him from Vancouver at the 2011-12 trade deadline.
While he did manage consecutive good in 2012-13 and 2013-14, including scoring a career high 20 goals and 44 points in the latter, the drop in play was cause for his name to be mentioned in buyout talks during the season. With Hodgson currently working out in Sweden with a skating coach, according to Murray, if he comes into training camp and his play doesn’t please the staff, it’s possible he’s a late addition to the free agent pool.
Hodgson isn’t the only player who could be headed for a buyout this summer, and here are five other notable players who could be getting paid by two clubs next season: Read more