Well, it you are truly at all surprised by this move by the Predators, you have certainly been living under a rock for a good portion of the season. However, from the presser released by the organization, the decision was made in order to assign Stalberg to Nashville’s farm team, the Milwaukee Admirals. Here’s an excerpt from the press release:
After missing six weeks of action due to a knee injury, Stalberg is prepared to return to action. With the NHL roster freeze going into effect on Friday at 11:59 p.m. CT and lasting until 12:01 a.m. CT on Dec. 28, and the team being at the 23-player roster maximum, the move was necessary before the team heads out for its final three games before the holiday break.
“A couple of injuries early in the season have prevented this from being the season Viktor trained all summer for,” General Manager David Poile said. “He has worked hard to return to the lineup. With Paul Gaustad and Taylor Beck day-to-day and still on our 23-man roster, the best option for Viktor and the organization at this time is to place Viktor on waivers with the hope that he will clear, go to Milwaukee to play games and continue his efforts to be ready for NHL game action.”
You can read the full presser here. Stalberg has certainly been having a rough season thus far. Expected to shine last season when he was signed to a four-year, $12 million deal during the off-season, the Swedish forward has been a bit of a disappointment, to say the least. With the booting of Trotz, Stalberg’s promise began circulating once more as he would be under new coaching with Laviolette. Unfortunately, due to reoccurring injuries, that expectation has been all but dashed once more. But, as you read above, Nashville’s intent is to keep Stalberg within the organization, meaning they do see the potential he could provide. However, it comes under the risk of placing him on waivers and hoping he clears without another team shooting him an offer.
It looks as though Stalberg has indeed cleared waivers and will now be assigned to the Milwaukee Admirals. This favors Nashville ultimate plan for Stalberg, but many teams could’ve benefited from acquiring the young forward. Unfortunately, that hefty contract that he signed with the Predators proved to be a major turnoff to the rest of the league, thus allowing him to clear waivers.
Update No. 2:
Not even an hour after posting the first update, the Predators recall Viktor Stalberg to their active roster. This move comes as Paul Gaustad has been placed on Injured Reserve due to a lower body injury. So there you have it; Stalberg had a wonderful stint on waivers, yes?