Hawks’ Stalberg signs in Swedish Elite League

Swedish Elite League team Frolunda continued to buck convention on Thursday, agreeing to terms with Chicago Blackhawks forward Viktor Stalberg on a one-month lockout deal.

Stalberg, 26, had a breakthrough season in Chicago in 2011-12, posting career-highs in games played (79), goals (22), assists (21) and points (43).

He’d long been rumored to be returning to Frolunda — the team he starred for at the junior level before leaving for the University of Vermont in 2006 — and by cementing the deal, he makes the Gothenburg-based club a force to be reckoned with.

Despite the SEL’s controversy surrounding locked-out NHLers (the league originally banned such contracts, only to have that ruling overturned) Frolunda is one of only two teams have taken advantage.

Modo became the first when it signed St. Louis’ Alex Steen. Frolunda is the second and clearly the most aggressive, having already secured the services of Colorado’s Matt Duchene and reportedly being close to inking New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist.

As such, Frolunda boasts one of Sweden’s most NHL-experienced lineups — in addition to Duchene and Stalberg, the club also employs the likes of PJ Axelsson, Christian Backman, Fabian Brunnstrom, Joel Lundqvist and Fredrik Sjostrom.

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