Head coach Barry Trotz made one of the most questionable roster moves of his coaching career Thursday night in preparation for his match against the Winnipeg Jets. Trotz scratched Viktor Stalberg with the return of center Mike Fisher to the lineup after suffering a fracture in his foot. Does it make any sense for an offensively challenged team to scratch the player general manager David Poile signed to score more goals? No.
Stalberg missed the first few games of the season with a shoulder injury suffered in preseason and in his return, he was unapparent against the New York Islanders. Through six games, the 6'3" 209lbs left winger has no points and a -2 rating. It is hard to blame Stalberg for his slow start since he's been on the third line so far this season with Nick Spaling and either Rich Clune, David Legwand, or Craig Smith, who are all not consistent offensive producers to compliment his talents.
Trotz has to be patient with him and let him adjust to the Predators' system. Scratching Stalberg instead of Matt Hendricks or Nick Spaling is baffling. Neither of which have made productive impacts to the level Stalberg has the potential to. Hendricks has yet to record a point, while Spaling has only an assist.
This "sending a message" plan Trotz and the coaching staff have done this season is not fair to the players because it takes away their ability to rebound from a bad game.