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Thursday, 19 October, 2000, 05:58 GMT
Stumpel agrees new Kings deal
Jozef Stumpel
Stumpel is looking forward to getting back on the ice
Los Angeles Kings centre Jozef Stumpel has ended his holdout by signing a three-year contract with the club.

"I'm ready to jump right in and I'm looking forward to contributing right away," said the Slovakian, who had been a restricted free agent.

The 28-year-old Stumpel said he was flying to St Louis to immediately join the Kings for the final three games of their four-game road trip.

Los Angeles also announced that All-Star defenceman Rob Blake was placed on the injured list, retroactive to Monday, with a fractured lumbar vertebrae.

The 1998 Norris Trophy winner was injured in a 5-0 victory over Boston last Friday and did not accompany the team on its road trip.

Assists

Stumpel led the Kings with 41 assists and added 17 goals last season, despite missing 25 games due to hernia surgery and a minor knee injury.

In 57 games, he posted an impressive plus-23 rating and tied for the team lead with seven game-winning goals.

"We are very pleased to finalise this contract with Jozef and know that he is committed to our organisation for the next three years," said Kings general manager Dave Taylor. "We look forward to his addition to our lineup."

Despite missing the talented playmaker, Los Angeles is off to a solid 3-2-2 start with a league-leading 29 goals, good enough for a share of first place in the Pacific Division.

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