Minnesota GM Chuck Fletcher has made a waiver claim of centerman Jarret Stoll from the New York Rangers. The new Wild forward will join his third team in the last 82 games and his second in the 2015-16 season. Stoll will arrive in Minnesota tomorrow, and will have the opportunity to play his first game against the team he just left in the Rangers on Thursday.
Stoll joins the Wild following an infamous offseason in which he was caught in a Las Vegas nightclub with cocaine and MDMA in his possession. Then a member of the Kings and a pending Unrestricted Free Agent, Stoll was not pursued to stay in Los Angeles, and ultimately found another opportunity in New York. Stoll was able to reach a plea agreement reducing the felony drug charges to misdemeanors and avoided jail time. His arrest sparked a wide conversation about substance abuse and testing for recreational drugs between the NHL and NHLPA.
Stoll has not had a very good time in New York, currently finding himself ranked last in the league for CF%. He has also found himself deployed in an unnatural position as a winger, and struggled to be effective away from the pivot. He has never been much for generating points, but is very effective in the faceoff circle with a 57.9% win rate on the season. Here is a telling graphic of Stoll's season thus far, inversely ranking players by their Corsi stats in the current season:
The 33-year old Stoll carries an $800K salary and cap hit on his current 1-year contract. The Wild will be responsible for that pro-rated amount as long as Stoll is on the NHL roster. It is a curious acquisition at a time when Tyler Graovac is set to finally return and shore up the Wild's center depth. However, Stoll can quickly and easily be placed back on waivers if he doesn't prove to be a fit. This could be a sign that the Wild want to return to their early-season plan of playing Charlie Coyle at right wing as they try to get him going again. It could also be a sign that the team has a potential trade in the works for one of it's centers and made the move to shore up its depth at the position.
This story is developing and we will bring you more news of the plans the Wild has for Stoll and how it might impact the rest of the team as it becomes available. We have included Stoll's career stats from hockeyreference.com and his HERO chart from Own the Puck for your review