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Former Kings center Jarret Stoll signs one-year deal with Rangers

Former Kings center Jarret Stoll signs one-year deal with Rangers
Jarret Stoll, who won two Stanley Cup titles with the Kings, has signed with the New York Rangers. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Jarret Stoll is getting another chance in the NHL.

The former Kings center, who pleaded guilty in June to two misdemeanor charges stemming from an April arrest in Las Vegas on suspicion of possession of cocaine and Ecstasy, was signed on Monday by the New York Rangers to a one-year deal worth $800,000.

"There's nothing there to worry about personally or professionally," Stoll said on a conference call. "I'm just excited about moving on. Signing with the New York Rangers is the first step in moving on and getting back on the ice and helping that team win.

"Obviously everything that happened happened and I had to take care of that. After that point, I know what I can bring to a team. I know what kind of person I am. I know what kind of player I am. ….I have won before and I just want to be within a good group that can do that again. Knowing that, knowing what I can provide to a team, it never wavered."

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These were Stoll's first comments to the media since his arrest at the Wet Republic Pool at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. In June, he was charged with one felony count of possession of cocaine but an amended criminal complaint later filed did not mention narcotics.

Stoll said he had completed the community service part of his plea agreement. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in an email to The Times on Monday that the league had met with Stoll and he is "no longer subject to the potential of further discipline from the league perspective."

Stoll, 33, also spoke about his meeting in May with Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi. Lombardi called the meeting one of the most "gut-wrenching" of his career.

"It had an impact on me for both reasons, personal and professional," said Stoll, who was on the Kings' two Stanley Cup winning teams. "It was a great meeting, a tough meeting. I have a lot, a lot of respect for Dean Lombardi and the Kings organization."

He went out of his way to thank the fans in Los Angeles, other members of the Kings organization and mentioned the support of his family and his girlfriend, Erin Andrews.

Stoll was asked on the call about the link to cocaine and if the Rangers were getting a "bad guy."

"I know what kind of person I am. I know what kind of hockey player I am. The people around me know what kind of person I am," Stoll said. "For the outside world to think what they think, it really doesn't have an impact on myself or the way I play hockey.

"That's not who I am. That's not the person I was brought up to be and anybody important in my life knows that. What I'm focusing on now is playing for the New York Rangers, helping that team win, getting to New York and playing at Madison Square Garden. It's an exciting time. There's no reason to discuss the past right now."

The Rangers did plenty of due diligence before signing Stoll, making the character checks throughout the hockey world. Ultimately, newly minted Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton thought it was worth the chance, saying Stoll's "body of work far outweighed anything else."

"It all comes out the same, as a real character guy that made a mistake and we all want to move forward," Gorton said.

Twitter: @reallisa

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