Viktor Stalberg has netted eight of his 18 goals this season – including his first NHL hat-trick – against the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets. There are several ways this kind of dominance could be put into words – Stalberg has their number, he comes to play against Columbus – but now one could most aptly say that he owns them. Because Stalberg officially bought the team this week.
“It’s not really a big deal,” said Stalberg. “It’s not like I’m going to re-name the team or move them out to Sweden so I can practice against them in my backyard. Although now that I’ve said that out-loud, it does sound pretty sweet.”
New owner Stalberg didn’t go the usual rout, posing in a Columbus hat and jersey during his first press conference as owner. Instead, he went to Nationwide Arena and had photographers take shots of him riding goalie Steve Mason and several defensemen around the ice like ponies.
“We’re always glad when our players take the initiative to pursue interests off the ice,” said Hawks GM Stan Bowman. “And Viktor is obviously very interested in completely owning the Blue Jackets. Is it a conflict of interests for a player to own an opposing team? I have no idea. But I’ll ask my dad.”