Chicago Blackhawks: The Time Has Come to Trade Viktor Stalberg

James MaahsContributor IIIFebruary 9, 2012

VANCOUVER, CANADA - JANUARY 31: Viktor Stalberg #25 of the Chicago Blackhawks reacts after getting stopped by goalie Cory Schneider #35 of the Vancouver Canucks during the overtime period in NHL action on January 31, 2012 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
Rich Lam/Getty Images

Forget about trading Niklas Hjalmarsson and Michael Frolik, there's only one man that should be on the trading block right now. His name is Viktor Stalberg.

Stalberg has accumulated 15 goals and 16 assists this season, which puts him fifth on the Blackhawks in terms of scoring.

So why trade a player that ranks that high on the Blackhawks' roster?

Stalberg may be hitting the peak of his career at the moment, his value is very high considering he can be a potent goal scorer in the near future. But for a player as inconsistent as Stalberg, why risk it? Trade him now and get some solid talent in return.

How badly do the Chicago Blackhawks need some solid defensive help? Stalberg as trade bait will more than likely open up some deals to General Manager Stan Bowman that weren't there before.

If the Blackhawks are serious about obtaining the services of a puck-moving defenseman then one of their top-six forwards must be on the market. The Blackhawks rank third in the NHL in goals scored but 25th in goals against. If trading one of their scorers leads to a tighter more puck controlling defense, then by all means make the trade.

How many times have we seen Stalberg wait for a back-door pass from Patrick Kane or Jonathan Toews? 

He has the speed and agility that only a few elite hockey players have in the NHL, and he is finding his scoring touch. But how much of that goes towards the fact that Stalberg is playing with Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp? It's a question that deserves some thought, as Stalberg is having his best season in the NHL.

Stalberg is only in his third NHL season. In his first two seasons, his highest point total was 24 last year. This season he is on pace for 50 points. There is no doubting Stalberg can blossom into a superstar, but with his inconsistencies and the fact that this is only his third season, a lot of questions remain.

But you cannot overlook that he is only 25 years old. He is young and skilled enough to have a very productive career. Some would argue that Stalberg just needed a chance in the NHL after spending two seasons with the Toronto Marlies. Now that he's up with the elite it will all be about adapting to the grind. 

In the end, it's a question that is very debatable, but it would be best if Viktor Stalberg was traded now rather than later.