Nashville nabs Stalberg: four years, $12 million

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One of the most intriguing free agents of the 2013 class is off the market.

Viktor Stalberg, just weeks removed from winning a Stanley Cup with Chicago, has agreed to join Nashville on a four-year, $12 million deal, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

The deal is a huge raise for the Swedish winger, who was making $875,000 annually on his last deal.

Stalberg, 27, fell out of head coach Joel Quenneville’s favor during the playoffs and was a healthy scratch four times during the Stanley Cup run – so it was unsurprising to hear he was leaving the ‘Hawks at season’s end.

At 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, he’s got the size and skating ability — he was one of Chicago’s fastest players — to be a handful for opposing defensemen.

He posted career-highs in goals (22) and points (43) in 2011-12 and, in the shortened 2013 season, still managed to score at a 0.49 points per game clip, pretty close to what he posted the season prior (0.54).

Stalberg will have an average annual cap hit of $3 million in Nashville which, coincidentally, is the same cap hit Sergei Kostitsyn currently carries.

There’s some belief Kostitsyn will bail on the final year of his deal with the Preds to play in the KHL, where he’s been negotiating with Avangard Omsk.