Ottawa Senators: Viktor Stalberg Leaves NHL for Switzerland

OTTAWA, ON - MAY 23: Viktor Stalberg
OTTAWA, ON - MAY 23: Viktor Stalberg /

The Ottawa Senators will play without Viktor Stalberg next season as he left for Europe on a two year deal.

The news coming out earlier today that Stalberg would not be playing in the NHL this season is a surprising one. Still capable of playing in the NHL he’s rumoured to have turned down NHL contracts to play in the Swiss League.  This includes an offer from the Ottawa Senators. Perhaps he is getting more money to play over in Europe, after all he was only paid 1.5 million last season. However, it seems more likely that he turned down a potentially more lucrative offer so that he can play in the Olympics.

Why Stalberg Left the NHL

The NHL has made it clear that they will not participate in the 2018 Olympics in South Korea. As a result many of the national teams will field lesser teams. Stalberg is from Sweden and under normal circumstances wouldn’t get the chance to play for the Scandinavian powerhouse. However, with the NHL players not able to participate, Stalberg will have a great opportunity to make the team. As a player who has only been able to represent his country on any level once, he may see this as a golden opportunity.

What This Means for Ottawa

As for the Senators this means they lose a little bit of depth. However, it isn’t a catastrophic loss. After all he was a trade deadline rental who the Sens acquired for just a 3rd round pick. Losing a deadline acquisition is never something a team should feel too badly about. It would have been nice to re-sign him but it isn’t a catastrophe by any means.

Without Stalberg the Sens will now have to turn to some of their younger players to make more active contributions. Ryan Dzingel and Colin White will both be given bigger roles within the team. This will be an opportunity for the both of them to get more ice time.

Next: Ottawa Senators: Bobby Ryan Trade Four Years Later

Wrap Up

Viktor Stalberg will not play for the Ottawa Senators or any NHL team next season. He has left for Switzerland despite having NHL offers on the table. While not a terrible loss for the Sens, they will now have to rely more heavily on some of their younger players. This will be a big test for those who are given a bigger role next season.