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Stalberg hopes for top-six role with Preds

Jul 9, 2013, 9:01 AM EDT

Viktor Stalberg #25 of the Chicago Blackhawks controls the puck against the Detroit Red Wings in Game Seven of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center on May 29, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Red Wings 2-1 in overtime.
(May 28, 2013 - Source: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

Viktor Stalberg got to lift the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks, but his role was limited and that only got worse during the 2013 playoffs. After four seasons in the NHL, his career-high in terms of playing time per game was 14:37 minutes during his rookie season with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

That’s something that’s likely to change next season after the Nashville Predators made a big commitment to him by agreeing to a four-year, $12 million deal.

“I wanted to come to a team where I could have a bigger opportunity and play more,” Stalberg said, according to CSN Chicago. “In Chicago, we have superstars and it’s tough to get the opportunity in front of those guys.

“They’re going to get the big minutes. I don’t think I’ve reached my potential (yet), and that’s why I chose Nashville.”

More specifically, the 27-year-old forward is hoping to earn a top-six spot with the club. Last season Nashville finished last in the NHL with 111 goals scored. That’s in part due to their defense-first approach, but Stalberg thinks that they went out and got him because they recognized that they needed a boost offensively.

“That’s why I decided to go there,” Stalberg said. “They’ve got a good thing going.”

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