With the September 15th deadline for a new CBA now bearing down on anyone associated with the sport of hockey, some teams have made a rush to get some of their players signed to contract extensions.
We’ve seen it throughout the league, whether it’s getting draft picks signed, grabbing a free agent last minute, or signing someone to an extension. With the Chicago Blackhawks, they have one candidate prime for an extension, whether it’s before Saturday or at all: Viktor Stalberg.
The debate over whether or not Stalberg should get a new contract has been going on for a bit this summer, mostly because the Hawks have been completely silent, save the two minor moves they made for defensemen.
Stalberg is a free agent after this season, coming off a career year in 2011-2012. After a season where he looked to be on his way out, he came back with a vengeance, finishing with over 40 points, including 20+ goals. He’s started to harness some of that raw talent and become a very solid player.
That’s good news for the Blackhawks, but it’s also bad news. Right now, he’s one of the bigger bargains in the league, making six figures. But another season like this last one, and he’s as good as gone, meaning he’ll likely price himself onto a new team next summer.
Either way, I’d expect a resolution to Stalberg’s situation to come before the end of the year, whenever the year actually starts. If the Blackhawks plan to make him part of the future, he’ll be signed during the season. If not, he could very well be headed out of town prior to the trade deadline.
If the Hawks want to make Viktor Stalberg a part of the future, then getting him locked up before Saturday may be wise. We really don’t know what is going to happen as far as the financials go with a new CBA, which explains some of the extensions we’ve seen over the past few days around the league.
The Blackhawks have given no indication of whether or not they plan to make Stalberg a part of this team for the long term. I’ve been in that camp for quite some time. He can be an asset with this club for another three or four years, then really cash in on the free agent market once another deal expires.
This is pure speculation, but I do think that if the Hawks have any plans of extending Stalberg, then they’ll put some consideration into doing it before September 15th.