LOS ANGELES -- During a stoppage in the first period at Staples Center, referee Shane Heyer held up the faceoff as the Kings aired a long tribute video for forward Jarret Stoll, punctuated by a standing ovation from the Los Angeles crowd.
"I think [the ref] let him win the draw, too," Ryan Suter joked. "It's great to see when you go back when a guy's been there for a while, when he goes back to a place — it was pretty special. It was a great showing of respect."
Stoll played his 18th game for the Wild on Thursday, and his first at Staples Center since he signed with the New York Rangers this offseason.
Though he's still a newcomer to Minnesota, the video was emblematic of the kind of impression he's made on his teammates so far.
"We know from the short amount of time we've had him around how great of a guy he is, and how classy of a person he is," Zach Parise said. "But when you get a long, standing ovation from the crowd, I'm sure it meant a lot for him."
Before Stoll's return to Staples Center, he reminisced about his Kings days, including a 2012 Stanley Cup championship.
That season, Los Angeles had two separate five-game losing streaks, like the one the Wild snapped against the Kings on Thursday.
It's that experience and the knowledge of any situation one can find himself in that Head Coach Mike Yeo said Stoll has brought with him to Minnesota.
"What I didn't quite realize is what a great pro he is," Yeo said. "As far as on the bench, the things that he's able to relay and the messages he has for the guys, he's just been in so many of these games, up a goal, down a goal, and at the biggest moments, he just has the right things to say."