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Trotz: Stalberg ‘has to start producing’

Oct 23, 2013, 7:06 PM EDT

ViktorStalberg Getty Images

There’s an interesting situation at play in Nashville between Barry Trotz and Viktor Stalberg.

Stalberg, one of the club’s big offseason acquisitions, has gone scoreless in six games since returning from a preseason shoulder injury — and that’s not good enough, according to Trotz.

“Stalberg will have to get going here a little bit,” Trotz told The Tennessean. “We tried to move him up here a little bit. He’s still learning us and we’re still learning him. But the games are going by now … six now, so he has to start producing.”

But the Swedish forward isn’t just taking that critique.

“I’m here to work hard and play hard, but I also am probably here to produce a little bit and obviously playing 10 minutes is tough to get that quality ice-time,” Stalberg countered. “But you have to deserve that ice-time. I’m trying to do everything I can here with the minutes I have and show them I deserve to play more.”

In Stalberg’s defense, he hasn’t been put in many quality scoring situations. He’s averaging around 11 minutes per game, often times on the fourth line — but the counter-argument there is that in order for him to get more opportunities, he’ll need to make something of the ones he’s already getting.

On a larger scale, it’s interesting to note how aggressive Trotz has been early in the season with regards to unproductive forwards. On Tuesday, the Preds made highly-touted rookie Filip Forsberg a healthy scratch, with Trotz saying “I thought Filip could have another level in his game,” and “sometimes, he looks to me a little bit tired.”

It’s no secret Nashville was displeased with missing the playoffs last year, averaging a league-low 2.27 goals per game. Following the year, Trotz called out both Craig Smith and ex-Predator Sergei Kostitsyn for their lack of production.

  1. esracerx46 - Oct 23, 2013 at 7:50 PM

    Heard this last year in the playoffs. He wanted more pp time. He was benched.

  2. ipaintrinks - Oct 23, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    Did they really expect something spectacular when they signed him? He’s real fast, pay the man!!!

  3. thesportsjudge - Oct 23, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    Seems like both their comments should have been kept in-house, no?

    • esracerx46 - Oct 23, 2013 at 8:26 PM

      I don’t mind it when a coach or someone in power is asked a specific question, and he gives an honest response. It’s actually quite refreshing. Trotz wasn’t wrong by the way. Stalberg’s comments probably shouldn’t have been said. As a Stalberg fan he comes off as a petulant diva when he responds the way he did, rather than saying something to the effect of.. yeah coach is right.

      • thesportsjudge - Oct 23, 2013 at 10:29 PM

        To me the issue is the guy has played 6 regular season games, for a notoriously defensive minded team. Sure, the coaches statement is probably right. Something I hadn’t thought of until now is maybe he feels the player will respond better to that type of “callout”(for lack of a better term) than by a face to face behind closed door meeting. I dunno.

  4. bhawk729 - Oct 23, 2013 at 9:11 PM

    Haha Preds. Buyer beware. Tried to tell Stalberg is useless

  5. hammerhead5573 - Oct 23, 2013 at 10:24 PM

    Any Hawk fan knows he was one of the fastest guys in the rink on most nights but his skills never caught up with his speed. I hope he does well but if the preds suspected he was going to be the guy who turned around a very low scoring team, they really should have done more homework. I mean the playoffs last year alone was all any GM had to see he is timid most every game.

    • noisetheorem - Oct 23, 2013 at 10:37 PM

      Stalberg’s biggest problem is that his head isn’t as fast as his feet. Sure, he can take the puck and run it down to the goal faster than just about anyone…but he doesn’t seem to have a clue what to do once he gets there.

      On his attitude: The guy basically mouthed his way out of the playoffs last year and possibly out of another contract. Maybe Nashville thought all of that was blown out of proportion in the press. Guess not.

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