Everyone knows what happened. Everyone knows the (possible) legal ramifications (for regular people, not athletes). Where he goes next is murky.
Katie Strang’s piece on the Los Angeles Kings begins to reveal the next steps. Dean Lombardi most likely won’t resing in LA. Stoll’s baggage is now front and center, his Room reputation in question. As one executive speculates, Stoll will absolutely have a job in the NHL next season but at a significant reduction in compensation. (It’s quite sad that a public and so far uncontested drug arrest doesn’t seem to prevent him from making unholy money competing in sports.) He will be read the Riot Act by his next employer and will not be given any margin by his next set of teammates. Maybe.
Right now, Stoll embodies the best and worst of his job title. He’s the Veteran, the LA Pretty Boy, the Playoff Stud. He lives the frat boy life with his television girlfriend. Today, he may have to add Reclamation Project to that list. He’s also the guy who shows signs of not giving a damn about the current perception of his character. He has taken the first step towards being Mike Ribero 2.0, except his first foray into the dark side of athlete-dom has been more public.
Behind closed doors, Ribero got second and third (and fourth, and fifth) chances, but Stoll loses all his Monopoly cards the first time out. Once the arrest was fully processed it was a main headline for the LA Times and was setting social media aflame. Ribero only had whispers follow him around. At this time, please recall Ribero was traded for Janne Niinimaa straight up. Janne Niinimaa. Process that and connect the dots.
Where does Stoll go? Does he get bounce around three or four more times collecting chances, or, does he find his Poile Program immediately?
Let’s get this out of the way before any speculation: Jarret Stoll will not be a New York Islander.
Garth Snow will not sign Jarret Stoll.
Jarret Stoll will not come closer to the Islanders than the visitors’ dressing room.
Snow signs character, trades for character, signs character. He does not fit the current Islanders structure, room, or philosophy.
The probability Stoll goes straight to Nashville is around 25%. The Predators have essentially rehabilitated Ribero so the Program works. But would Poile be willing to bring in another reclamation, albeit a completely different type of offender, is another question. The organization would need to assess their need for a player of Stoll’s role, their own resources, and their willingness to add that type of element to a a room that doesn’t welcome this nonsense. The optics are fascinating.
If Nashville doesn’t work, the list of potential suitors is short (and should shrink). Manhattan, Miami, Dallas…out of the question. Cities of temptation, so, no. Actually, forget the maybes, the list of suitors might be three teams.
The aforementioned Nashville, Detroit, and Chicago.
Detroit and Chicago boast strong ownership, strong GMs, and player personnel that do not take “overstepping the company line” lightly. Both organizations have positive histories with adjusting various off-ice character and personality issues, though neither has Chelios or Shanahan physically policing their teammates. Hell, Detroit got Brett Hull to fall in line, and his sordid St. Louis days would’ve gotten many players blackballed. Though Jeff Blashill is the first time NHL coach in Detroit, does anyone think Joel Quennville is going to put up with an iota of any sort of shenanigans? No, that man rules all. if there’s a poster boy for Chicago’s successful corrective measures, look no further than Patrick Kane. It can be done but someone must want it to be done.
Stoll would have no strikes but no chances in those cities, fix up or you’re done. And he’ll get that chance because sports is like that. But this could be his curtain call in the NHL due to irresponsible and unprofessional behavior. Maybe Donald Brashear needs a linemate in the Ligue Norde-Americaine du Hockey.