Jarret Stoll felt he had no option. At least not the way things have been going for him this season.
The Edmonton Oilers forward was one of the few veterans out yesterday for an optional practice at Millennium Place in Sherwood Park.
"I think it's everybody's personal read whether or not they need to be out there," Stoll said. "Some guys need to work on things, some guys don't, they need the rest.
"There are some days that I need the rest and there are some days that I need to work on things. It was good to get out there, slap the puck around, get some shots and work on some things."
Stoll, 25, is trying to work his way out of a season-long slump where he has just one goal and four assists in 17 games. He's also a team worst minus-10 on the year.
"The key to any team is leadership and Jarret is one of our leaders," said Bill Moores, who along with Rob Daum ran practice yesterday. "For him to make that decision to come out here at an optional skate is important. Every drill we had he went first and did it with high intensity and good execution and that's the leadership we need."
Stoll hasn't been able to find the form which made him one of the team's best players since suffering a pair of concussions that prematurely ended his 2006-2007 season.
However he is showing some life, having collected an assist in three of the Oilers' last five games. The Oilers face the Canucks tomorrow in Vancouver.
"It's always going to be a work in progress, I think," Stoll said. "I don't think I'm there yet, but I'm going to keep trying to stay positive. We had a big win in our last game and that's what it's all about. We went into Calgary, we played a good, solid road game and we came out with the win."