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03-04-2013, 02:01 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
It's hard for me to understand the feeling of so many Hawk fans regarding Stalberg.
Looking at Stalberg's game since the Hawks acquired him, it is without dispute that he has gotten better every season, including this season over last season. He is better along the boards and in the corners this season. He is better at getting and keeping the puck. His stick handling and passing are better. He is hitting more this season and is a better forechecker. His defense and backchecking have improved and can no longer be seen as liabilities. His quickness is almost on a par with his speed. He is seeing the play better and making better decisions.
The play he made to get the puck to Kane for the tying goal against Detroit was amazing. He out-quicked three Detroit players who were all closer to the puck and made a perfect pass to Kane. Not very many players across the league have the quickness to make that play.
He is on pace for another 20+ goal season (projected 82 games) while playing on the 3rd line. His most effective position is RW but with Kane and Hossa, he isn't going to be in the top-6, but he is the engine that makes the 3rd line go.
Optimistic projections for any of the Hawk's prospects would be to get to the point where Stalberg is right now, and none of them have the speed/size combination Stalberg has.
Why any Hawk fan doesn't think he is worth $3M and just casually writes him off is beyond me. Stalberg has become a very good player and has the potential to keep getting better. It should be a priority to lock him up long term.
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