By Jarret Stoll
There’s something exciting about getting a fresh start with a good, young team and an organization going in the direction the Kings are. So when I found out I was getting traded, I was looking forward to a new opportunity.
My role in L.A. has been pretty similar to what I was doing in Edmonton, so that’s made the transition easy for me. Though I feel a little bit less pressure here than I did in Edmonton, I still have new expectations and goals for myself.
One of them is I want to be as consistent as possible throughout the entire season. I want to play a solid, two-way game and contribute both on the penalty kill and the power play, be solid in the defensive zone and create chances. I want to bear down when I get a chance offensively and put the puck in the net.
The coaching staff here has helped a lot as I work toward achieving those goals. They’ve instilled a great system for us to play and so far we’re executing it pretty well. I try to play hard, smart hockey and hopefully that’s reflected throughout the year.
It’s nice to see a lot of the guys here consider themselves team leaders, regardless of whether or not they have a letter on their jersey. I like to think of myself as a leader as well. I take pride in that and it’s nice to play that role alongside teammates with a similar mindset.
We’ve had some inconsistent stretches, but if we crack down a little bit, we can improve. I think there’s a lot of potential on this team, we just have to be patient. Everyone is working hard and we have the right competitive attitude that will help us hit our stride.
Off ice, things are looking up, too. It’s a lot warmer in L.A. and wearing shorts is a nice change. I get the chance to spend my days off outside, enjoying the weather. It’s very comfortable here.
You can’t get too comfortable, though. Too relaxed is bad because once you come to the rink, it’s business as usual. When you’re on an even keel, sometimes you tend to be a bit complacent. But if you’re always on edge, you’re always ready. Being a little edgy is just right.
Jarret Stoll was drafted in the second round, 46th overall by the Flames in 2000, but re-entered the draft in 2002 where the Oilers picked him 36th overall. He played five seasons in Edmonton, scoring 165 points, before being dealt to the Kings in the summer of 2008.
For more information on the Kings, go to lakings.com.