Viktor Stalberg got to lift the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks, but his role was limited and that only got worse during the 2013 playoffs. After four seasons in the NHL, his career-high in terms of playing time per game was 14:37 minutes during his rookie season with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
That’s something that’s likely to change next season after the Nashville Predators made a big commitment to him by agreeing to a four-year, $12 million deal.
“I wanted to come to a team where I could have a bigger opportunity and play more,” Stalberg said, according to CSN Chicago. “In Chicago, we have superstars and it’s tough to get the opportunity in front of those guys.
“They’re going to get the big minutes. I don’t think I’ve reached my potential (yet), and that’s why I chose Nashville.”
More specifically, the 27-year-old forward is hoping to earn a top-six spot with the club. Last season Nashville finished last in the NHL with 111 goals scored. That’s in part due to their defense-first approach, but Stalberg thinks that they went out and got him because they recognized that they needed a boost offensively.
“That’s why I decided to go there,” Stalberg said. “They’ve got a good thing going.”
Breaking: the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers don’t like each other.
The stakes might be higher for the Penguins than the Flyers – aside from those who still believe Philly has a shot at a playoff run – their rivalry rarely subsides.
With that in mind, it’s no surprise that Sunday featured at least one fight, with Cameron Gaunce squaring off against Brandon Manning in a pretty spirited bout.
Manning isn’t shy about fighting, by the way; this was his seventh bout of the season, according to Hockey Fights.
Higher on the radar for the Penguins is the situation for Conor Sheary, who has been absent from the ice since about midway through the first period. PHT will keep an eye out for updates on what could be yet another injury for the health-challenged Pens.
Life is difficult, complex and confusing. Good thing we have dog videos.
Forgive this video being one night late, but for those of us who watch cute animal clips, time is a furry circle. Or something like that.
Anyway, this golden retriever got a little “ice time” before the Washington Capitals’ game against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday in what would end up being a 4-1 win for the Caps. It’s an excellent video featuring a top-notch, hilarious pooch.
Alternate joke: Now that is some puck retrieval.
Patrik Laine and Auston Matthews are locked with identical goals (34), assists (27) and points (61) on Sunday, which is remarkable since Laine has played in 67 games versus 75 for Matthews. He won’t get a chance to beef up his numbers on Sunday, either.
It looks like the high-scoring rookie is missing the Winnipeg Jets’ contest against the Vancouver Canucks because of an illness, according to TSN’s Sara Orlesky.
The Jets are almost assured to miss the playoffs, so seeing Laine lose a chance to bolster his Calder argument adds a little extra sadness to the night.
The NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced a Monday hearing for San Jose Sharks tough guy Micheal Haley for his “roughing/sucker punch” on Calle Jarnkrok of the Nashville Predators.
The league didn’t specify if Haley will face a telephone or in-person hearing on Monday afternoon. They did, interestingly, use the phrase “sucker punch” in that official announcement.
Haley received a match penalty during the game. Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer was highly upset about the hit that inspired Haley’s actions.
“When you run someone from behind in a game like that, you probably deserve to get a punch in the mouth,” DeBoer told reporters.
In other bad news for the Sharks, CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz reports that Logan Couture‘s situation isn’t looking promising after he was hurt on Sunday.