Earlier this week we posted a funny conversation with Jarret Stoll, where we joked about some of his recent wardrobe choices. On the ice though, these should be the best of times for the 30-year old forward. After winning his first Stanley Cup in June and immediately re-signing with the Kings for three more years, he expected to be defending their hard fought title by this point. Unfortunately, we’re nearly 60 days into another NHL lockout instead.
While the CBA negotiations have gone through many ebbs and flows since late summer, it looked like things were taking a positive turn over the past few days. Then, the news yesterday was not so good.
A few hours prior to last night’s charity game, Stoll joined over 100 players on a conference call with NHLPA chief Donald Fehr for an update on this week’s negotiations.
So, how did he feel after the call?
“Pretty depressed actually,” Stoll told MayorsManor late last night.
“Disappointed, based on how the mood was described to me by the guys who were at the meeting and in that room (during negotiations in New York this week). It wasn’t what we expected from two good days of bargaining and negotiating. Then, to have a day like this, guys were pretty disappointed. It’s kinda the same old story now. We’re not back to square one at all, but we’re searching and looking for a new solution, a new way – something to get some traction any way possible. It’s just not working out though, it’s just not happening. It seems like (the negotiations are) a game and that’s what’s disappointing.”
Throughout this entire process, Stoll says he’s continued to stay plugged into the talks for one simple reason.
“We all want to play, every one wants to play,” he explained. “That’s a no-brainer. But, guys want to be involved. The last lockout wasn’t even close to this, in terms of players knowing what’s going on – being involved, being on the calls, going to New York, going to Toronto. Guys know what’s going on this time. That’s what’s very disappointing, we all realize now what’s happening.”
Stoll’s current frustration hasn’t manifested itself solely based on his thoughts alone.
“A guy like Brad Richards (New York Rangers), he was there today. He said on the call, straight-out, it was a great experience for him to go there and see that. But, it was also a very disappointing one from his point of view.”
The Kings third-line center also spoke with teammate Kevin Westgarth, who is on the NHLPA negotiating committee, the night before and the news wasn’t much better.
“I wanted to see what his mood was,” Stoll shared. “You could tell in his voice he was pretty down – tired, long days and long days of not getting much accomplished.”
Even with all the bad news building to a head, Stoll is trying to maintain an objective view of the process.
“They’re going to say we’re not negotiating and we’re not being good negotiating partners and we’re going to say the opposite. Again, it’s a game. And it’s pretty sad though that it’s turned out to be a game like that.”
Has there been anything positive he can point to?
“We’re close in some areas. We’re almost there in some areas. But then there’s a lot of other areas where there’s no negotiating, there’s no chance to move on anything. That’s not what negotiating is, I don’t think. It’s give and take. We understand we have to give and we’re going to give a lot. There’s no question. But, in my mind, it doesn’t seem like we need to get taken advantage of either. In a way, that’s just not right.”
A few weeks ago, Westgarth came on the MayorsManor show and answered questions from fans about the lockout and the overall negotiating process. For your convenience, we’ve linked that article and a few others down below.
Free replay of the MayorsManor show – Kevin Westgarth joins us to discuss the lockout in layman’s terms
MayorsManor on-ice interview with Jarret Stoll - thoughts moments after winning the Stanley Cup