Posts Tagged ‘stalberg’

Welcome to the NHL

October 7, 2009

Former University of Vermont star forward Viktor Stalberg learned a tough lesson Tuesday evening: Keep you head up in the National HockeyLeague.

The Toronto Maple Leafs rookie was on the wrong end of a fierce collision with Ottawa Senators defenseman Anton Volchenkov. The first-period impact left a woozy Stalberg heading to the bench and he didn’t return to the game, a 2-1 Ottawa win.

According to the Toronto Star Web site Wednesday, Stalberg was not at practice and was believed to be suffering from a concussion.

Stalberg, who bypassed his senior year at UVM to turn pro, had been playing with the Maple Leafs’ top line and was considered to be Toronto’s best player in the opening game of the season.

According to www.thestar.com, Torontto coach Ron Wilson does not expect Stalberg to play Saturday.

Stalberg’s debut

October 6, 2009

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

Reports: Stalberg makes Maple Leafs

September 29, 2009

Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Ron Wilson, in several Toronto newspaper reports, said former UVM hockey star Viktor Stalberg made the team and wiviktorll play in the team’s season-opening game against Montreal on Thursday.

“In my mind’s eye, for sure, Stalberg will be in the lineup on opening night, but he will probably be the only one (of the college players),” Wilson said in Sunday’s National Post. “He deserves a spot on our team.”

Stalberg led Toronto with six preseason goals.

“Some nights he’s been our best player,” said Wilson in Saturday’s edition of Toronto’s The Star. “His speed is incredible.”

The Maple Leafs’ Web site lists Stalberg on the 29-man roster. The site’s season preview story said Stalberg made the team.

Update, quote from UVM coach Kevin Sneddon: “Lot of other colleges are having problems with guys leaving college early, not graduating, and going to the National Hockey League. I don’t have a problem with it at all when you see the success that they have immediately. It’s when guys leave early and end up playing in the low-level minors that you question. When guys like Torrey Mitchell (San Jose Sharks) and Viktor Stalberg can step out from their junior year and make an NHL team, it shows they are developing in our program. I think they made the right decisions, as tough as they were, for their careers.”

Other former Cats currently in the NHL

Torrey Mitchell, San Jose
Mitchell played two seasons with Vermont, the last in 2006-07. He 20 points in 82 games during his rookie campaign with the Sharks.

Patrick Sharp, Chicago
Sharp played two seasons at UVM (2000-2002). A three-year NHL veteran, Sharp had 44 points in 61 games last season for Chicago

Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay
St. Louis, Vermont’s career leader in points, is entering his 11th NHL season and ninth with Tampa Bay. St. Louis was the NHL’s 2004 MVP when Tampa Bay won Stanley Cup. St. Louis recorded 80 points last season.

Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins
One of the NHL’s premier goaltenders, Thomas had a 36-11 record with a league-leading 2.10 goals-against-average and 93.3 save percentage last season.