As we get closer and closer to the start of the season, I figured I'd write about a few of the players on the Kings that have a lot riding on this season. Enjoy!
Confession: I've never really been into Anne Hathaway.
I mean, she's pretty. I should think she's really hot. The pieces are there: she has a nice smile and a great body and she's brunette and she seems really bubbly and sweet, all things I like. But you package all that together and... it's just nice. She's one of those people you see and think, "Hmm yes, well done," like you're admiring art or something. If you asked me what is wrong with her, I couldn't tell you anything... her nose, maybe? It's kind of angul- no it's fine. I don't know. But she just doesn't really do it for me.
Jaret Stoll is kind of the same way. Every piece of his game seems great: he has above average speed, he has a fairly decent offensive game, he goes into the corners, he hits, he plays good defense, he works hard on and off the ice... I should love him. But you package all that together in real life and... it's just nice. He is a jack of all trades, master of none. ...Well, I guess he's a master of face-offs, but loving a center because he's good at face-offs is like saying you love a girl because she has really nice hands; I mean, you may be right but you're also kind of a weirdo.
I think the problem with Stoll is that you'll watch him play and all you can think about is how he could be so much better. I imagine the guys making NHL games get confused because when they rate Stoll's attributes he ends up being a 95 overall player, not the 83 player he actually is. You match up his skill set with Mike Fisher's and they're almost exactly the same, yet somehow Mike Fisher will get 50 points in a season and land Carrie Underwood while Stoll will get 40 and land Katie Cassidy.* It's so close... and yet so far away. I don't quite know what but there's something that separates them. And that something is what keeps me from loving Jarrret Stoll.
*And you can take Mike Fisher's skill set and compare it to Mike Richards's and it'll almost exactly the same, yet somehow Mike Fisher will get 60-70 points this season. And if Richards could start dating Julianne Hough he'd make this whole thing line up perfectly.
Stoll is going into a contract year and he's going to get the shit end of the stick that Alex Frolov received 2 years running and Alexei Ponikarovsky received last year. He'll be expected to carry the offense for the Kings' 3rd line without much help. Luckily for him, he won't be expected to play really tough minutes so he might actually be able to score a bit. It'll be tough but I expect Stoll to be where he usually is: 40-ish points with solid defense and good leadership.
Somehow that's underwhelming. It shouldn't be but it is.
I think the Kings are going to re-sign Jarret Stoll and I honestly don't think that's a bad idea. He's safe. He's what you have lying around when other options don't work out. He's frozen pizza. Plus, he seems to like it here and I think he'd actually re-sign for a little less than what he's making right now (maybe around what Brown makes). I'd like the Kings to sign him early and then move him to a wing so Andrei Loktionov can play center. If that happened I think I'd actually really like Jarret Stoll, mostly as runoff from my love of Andrei Loktionov. But it probably won't (and even if it did I still wouldn't really like him) and it's likely that Stoll will be here for the next few years, putting in his yeoman's work that he's good (even great) but not amazing at. And I'll sigh and wonder why I
don't think he's hot don't appreciate him as a hockey player.
*Loktionov = Shenae Grimes in this analogy: they are both young and unproven but I expect big things are in their futures. Said big thing being my dick in one of their futures and potential magazine covers in Shenae's.**