Stalberg prepared to look elsewhere

Some questioned Joel Quenneville limiting Viktor Stalberg's ice time in the playoffs. Dave Sandford/NHLI/Getty Images

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Viktor Stalberg said Thursday he would likely play next season wherever he could get the most consistent playing time.

Stalberg will become an unrestricted free agent next week after spending the last three seasons with the Blackhawks.

Stalberg had nine goals and 14 assists and averaged 14:07 of ice time in 47 regular-season games this season, but his role was diminished in the playoffs and he was a healthy scratch for four games. He had three assists and averaged 10:35 of ice time in 19 playoff games. He played less than 10 minutes in nine playoff games.

"I think over the last three years I've showed I deserve to play maybe more times than I got an opportunity to do here," Stalberg said at the United Center on Thursday. "I think that's just how it is. You're on one of the best teams, and you have some of the best players in the world in front of you. That's what it is.

"That's great, but maybe at some point in your career you want to see what else is out there and what other role you can get and see for yourself how good you can allow yourself to be. I think that's a thing we're going to see if that's the fit here. If it's not, it might be somewhere else."

Stalberg said he and his agent would likely discuss his future with Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman on Thursday or Friday.

"I don't know at this point," Stalberg said. "We'll see what happens. I love it here. It's been great these three years, but we'll see what we take it from here. I got to make a decision, and they got to make a decision, so we'll see.

"We shouldn't jump to conclusions. You never know what's going to happen. There's still a lot of possibilities here as well. There's a lot of things that can happen moving guys or whatever they decide to do around this locker room. We'll see what happens."