Proud American Hockey League Affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks

Buy Tickets

IceHogs News

Stalberg a hit with Hawks' fans

By:
From chicagoblackhawks.com: (link)

Viktor Stalberg (right, with Jordan Hendry) was a hit with fans at the Blackhawks Convention.

CHICAGO -- Viktor Stalberg already appears to be winning over the hearts of Chicago Blackhawk fans -- especially the female fans.

But it's the Hawks' brass that the 24-year old, 6-foot-3, 210-pound Swedish forward hopes to have swooning over him in about a month, come training camp. After coming to Chicago in the trade that sent fan-favorite forward Kris Versteeg to Toronto, Stalberg hopes to ride the wave of hockey madness in this city to stardom in a different Original Six destination.

"Just looking at this event here, you can see how many fans they have and that there's a big interest," Stalberg said of the Hawks' sold-out annual fan convention this weekend at the Chicago Hilton. "I'm planning to be ready for camp and hopefully will get a chance to play a lot this year."

As long as he does what he did down the stretch of last season in Toronto, he probably will. Stalberg played in 40 games last season for the Maple Leafs, scoring 9 goals and 14 points with a minus-13 rating. He brings a physical presence with his good size and skating ability, and would like to eventually become more than just a grinder.

"I think I proved that I can play at the (NHL) level, but I've got a lot of development to do to become the kind of player I want to be," he said. "I don't want to settle for being a third- or fourth-line guy."

He said assessing last season for him should include dividing the season in half. In the first half, his play was about as erratic as his ice time -- before the Leafs made a trade to free up more playing time for youngsters like him.

"After the big trade, we kind of had a new team and I got to play a lot more," Stalberg said. "I played the last 20 or so games and really felt comfortable out there and played a lot better."

No worries --
If they weren't veterans used to the business side of hockey,
Patrick Sharp and Brian Campbell might have been nervous wrecks this off-season, wondering when they'd be traded.

Sharp's name has come up repeatedly throughout the season as a potential trade target because of his $3.9 million a season salary-cap figure, while Campbell's has come up more recently for his $7.15 million price tag.

The Hawks are clearly in a bit of a bind trying to stay under the League's $59.4 million hard salary cap, and moving pricey contracts for more affordable players is often the subject of trade speculation.

"I talked to (Hawks GM Stan Bowman), and I wasn't worried about it for whatever reason," said Sharp, who was told he wouldn't be traded by Bowman this summer. "My name kept popping up, but I just took that as a compliment that maybe other teams out there were interested."

Campbell has a simple method for dealing with those rumors, as well.

"I go work out in the morning and go get ready for a season," he said. "I'm a Blackhawk and I would like to continue to be one, so I'm getting ready for training camp. That's about all you can do."

Bring on the pressure --
All the recent talk about the Blackhawks "core group" has done two things: set that handful of players apart as integral to any hopes the team has of competing for the Stanley Cup and place added pressure on them to carry the load next season and beyond.

After eight former teammates were either traded away or not re-signed this off-season in salary-cap decisions, the "core group" led by
Jonathan Toews, 22, and Patrick Kane, 21, will now be looked to for even more big plays. That group also includes Norris Trophy winner Duncan Keith, Olympic gold medalist Brent Seabrook, star forward Marian Hossa, center Dave Bolland, center Patrick Sharp and defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson.

Kane said he's looking forward to the added responsibility.

"You like that pressure," he said. "You want to be relied on to score more goals and score more points and make it an even better year. It's exciting to have that pressure on you. Everyone wants more ice time, every wants to play and be on the ice. I look at it like it's a great opportunity."




Search Archive »




Browse by Year »

2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
200

Browse by Month »

December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010

December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
December 0200