The New York Rangers waived Jarret Stoll on Monday, ending the forwards tenure on Broadway after only 29 games.
Stoll, who was claimed by the Minnesota Wild, is known best for his faceoff proficiency. He did not disappoint in that department for the Rangers, winning 57.9 percent of the faceoffs he took, good for ninth in the NHL. Unfortunately for Stoll, faceoffs seems to be his only area of expertise and Dominic Moore has been nearly as effective in the dots, winning 56.4 percent. When Alain Vigneault decided he preferred Moore at Center and Stoll on the wing, Stoll’s fate appeared to be sealed sealed, as the forward seemed not capable of adapting to the position change.
Stoll was used by the Rangers mainly as a defensive and faceoff specialist, which partially contributed to his horrid possession numbers. The 33-year-old forward ranked worst worst on the Rangers in Corsi For percentage (38.5), Corsi For percentage relative (-10.3) and Fenwick For percentage (39).
Starting in the defensive zone in the majority of his time on ice, Stoll lacked the penalty killing success that the Rangers expected of him. His only goal, which puts him with superstars Todd White and Jeff Woywitka as Rangers with one goal with the team in their career, was scored against Washington in a blowout Rangers win.
While Emerson Etem has not scored this season, he has provided an offensive spark with his puck possession game and potential, being a young forward and former first round pick. Stoll’s fate may have been sealed when he was on the ice for five of seven goals scored against in Edmonton on Friday night. Hethen served as a healthy scratch in Calgary the following evening.
Ironically for the Rangers, Stoll was signed to be one of the pillars of the fourth line alongside Dominic Moore and Jesper Fast, replacing Tanner Glass, who has now usurped Stoll in the lineup after a surprisingly strong stretch of games. Until Derek Stepan returns New York will likely keep Glass in the lineup, filling the fourth line winger role left by Stoll’s departure. Stoll’s waiving is welcomed news for Glass, who has gone from a fringe AHL player to being back in the NHL mix with Stoll gone. Stoll’s being claimed depletes the Rangers’ fourth line depth in the team’s eyes likely, but in reality stronger options such as Brian Gibbons and Jayson Megna now have a better chance of being promoted.
Minnesota’s claim of Stoll is hardly surprising, as teams have always and will continue to seek out “defensive” centers that are strong in the dots. The Wild were not the only team that put in a claim on Stoll, despite his poor play in New York.
What the Wild see in Stoll: Veteran. Cup winner. Right shot center. Help on faceoffs and PK
— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) December 15, 2015
The Rangers and Stoll will not have to wait long to meet up again, as the center can look to exact revenge on the team that waived him on Thursday when the Rangers travel to Minnesota to play the Wild. On February 4, the Wild visit Madison Square Garden, which could be Stoll’s first game back in New York, if he sticks with Minnesota.