The Carolina Hurricanes have traded forward Viktor Stalberg to the Ottawa Senators for a third-round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. Pierre LeBrun of ESPN was the first to break the news of Stalberg being sent to the Senators with Darren Dreger announcing the return for Carolina. The Hurricanes eventually announced the deal themselves, confirming the reports from LeBrun and Dreger.
— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) February 28, 2017
A journeyman in the NHL, Stalberg has scored nine goals and 12 points this season with the Hurricanes in primarily a bottom-six role. The 31-year-old veteran signed a contract with the Hurricanes on July 1 of the last offseason after spending the 2015-16 season with the Rangers in New York. He’ll provide the Senators with some depth scoring which will be vital with their recent setback at the forward position with Bobby Ryan set to miss an extended period of time.
The Senators made a trade Monday to acquire Alexander Burrows from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for one of their top prospects in Jonathan Dahlen. They extended Burrows to a contract extension shortly thereafter and are clearly making a push to remain competitive in a very tight playoff race in the Atlantic Division. The Senators currently hold the second seed in the Atlantic, four points behind the Montreal Canadiens and just two ahead of the Boston Bruins with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Florida Panthers also hot on their trail.
For the Hurricanes, the 2016-17 season has been another disappointment with the team sitting in 27th place int he NHL with 58 points, With a lot of young talent on the team, the Hurricanes were wise to trade away Stalberg, a pending unrestricted free agent, as they were able to get a good asset in the Senators third-round pick in return as they continue to rebuild their franchise from the ground up.
Stalberg the Veteran
Stalberg has played with five teams in his NHL career since being drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs with the 161st overall selection in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. In 470 games split between the Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago Blackhawks, Nashville Predators, New York Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes, Stalberg has scored 80 goals, 164 points, and won the Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2013. His career-highs in games, goals and points all game during the 2011-12 season when he played in 79 games, scoring 22 goals and 43 points.
Given Stalberg’s contributions being limited to that of a depth forward, the Senators paid a steep price for their playoff push in acquiring him, as well as Burrows from the Canucks. As is often the case at the trade deadline, however, teams are willing to part with more than they usually would for a chance to make the playoffs and potentially win the Stanley Cup. The Senators have not yet won a cup in their franchise’s history. With a good position in the Atlantic standings, this season could be the year that the Senators make a push to go all-in for the chance to hoist the cup.
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Brandon Share-Cohen has covered the NHL and various professional sports for six years. Working with The Hockey Writers, Brandon works extensively on covering the Boston Bruins in addition to his role as the News Team Lead.