Los Angeles Kings: What to Do with Jarret Stoll Next Year

Gary LlewellinCorrespondent INovember 6, 2011

DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 27:  Jarret Stoll #28 of the Los Angeles Kings at American Airlines Center on October 27, 2011 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Jarret Stoll enters the final year of his contract on the third line this season due to the trade for Mike Richards.

His two-way skill and scoring ability makes him a fine third-line center for the Kings, but his $3.6 million cap hit also makes him an expensive one.

Should the Kings retain Stoll next year as a third-liner? Or better yet—should they retain him as a third-liner if he asks for the same amount of money next year?

The fact is that Stoll brings a lot to the Kings. He scored 20 goals last season, he’s great on faceoffs and he went 9-of-10 in shootouts last season.

If he’s willing to take a cut to play for the Kings in the future, then it would be in the best interest of the organization to hold onto him, as what he brings is hard to replace.

The first question is, would Stoll be willing to take a pay cut for the sake of the team?

In my mind, he would find his way back on the team for $2.5 million or less. At 29 years old, however, he’s looking at his last chance to earn a big contract and may not want to settle.

He’s not off to a good start, points-wise at least, but that was bound to happen after being reduced to a checking role. If he can put together a solid campaign, however, he would earn $3-4 million on the open market.

The next question is, can a young player like Andrei Loktionov replace Stoll on the third line next year? Loktionov is a cheaper option and is due for a full-time role on the roster next year.

As it’s unlikely Stoll would take a pay cut at this point in his career, the best thing for the Kings might be to let him test free agency and infuse the roster with young talent.