Stalberg’s debut


From the Far West time zone (Dupont, Wash.; don’t ask), I undertook the task of trying to watch former Catamounts Tim Thomas (Bruins) and Viktor Stalberg (Maple Leaf) open their National Hockey League seasons and, in Vik’s case, career.

While Tim and the Bruins had a tough night against Washington, Stalberg had an impressive debut. Hockey Night in Canada commentators remarked several times on his speed, in one case suggesting that Stalberg should have used that asset down the wing instead of pulling up. How many times did Catamount fans see Stalberg burn opposing defensemen? The commentator said with experience, Stalberg will recognize that opportunity to go to the net.

More impressive was Stalberg’s time on the power play, helping set up Toronto’s second goal, as well as his presence on the ice late in regulation and during overtime. For one game at least, Stalberg looked like he belonged in an NHL rink rather that Gutterson Fieldhouse.

Stalberg certainly will be missed at The Gut, but his decision to go pro looks to be the right one. Most of those who leave college early only to wind up as career minor leaguers made dubious decisions; those like Stalberg and Torrey Mitchell, who immediately attracted the attention of the major league organizations, may have lost a year of their youth, but those decisions are hard to fault.

— Ted Ryan


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