Stoll back with Kings, but as a player development ‘intern’

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Though he’s yet to officially retire, Jarret Stoll’s latest endeavor suggests the transition could soon be underway.

Stoll, who remains unsigned after appearing in 51 games for Minnesota last season, has caught on with his former team — the Los Angeles Kings — in a player development role.

More from Kings Insider, following Stoll’s appearance on the club’s pregame show Monday night:

Less visible from his television appearance are the steps Stoll has taken to shadow the team’s development staff in a somewhat hands-on capacity that has brought him to Ontario a small handful of times, where he has taken the ice with Reign coaches and players as part of a learning-as-he-goes endeavor he referred to as an “internship.”

There’s not a great deal of structure yet or title attached to this opportunity, and Stoll, whose primary focus is to continue playing in the NHL, hasn’t officially been hired. It is simply an open-ended introduction to the type of work that goes into developing young hockey players – primarily centers at the faceoff dot.

Stoll has a long history with Los Angeles. He appeared in over 500 games over seven years as a King, helping the club capture a pair of Stanley Cups, and was praised for his defensive work and veteran leadership along the way.

Stoll, of course, is also remembered for his arrest for cocaine possession in April of 2015. It was an ignominious end to his time in Los Angeles — arrested months before his contract was set to expire, the incident was one of the last things he did as a member of the organization.

Needless to say, it hit GM Dean Lombardi hard. From ESPN:

Lombardi cried when he finally sat down with Stoll after Stoll’s arrest, absolutely gutted not by the mistake itself but by the betrayal of trust that it signified. Lombardi had tabbed Stoll as one of the team’s most important leaders.

Lombardi said he couldn’t function for four days. He questioned his own judgment.

It’s evident Lombardi held Stoll in high regard. Fittingly, it was the GM that extended an invite for him to rejoin the club.

“Dean gave me a great opportunity to come back in and help some of the guys out in Ontario,” Stoll explained. “Just hang around the team there a little bit more and start coming to some games here.”