Key Predators offseason addition injured, likely to miss remainder of preseason, possibly more

Viktor Stalberg was brought in to help change things for the Nashville Predators.

Instead, arguably the most high-profile forward addition looked much like one of last season’s players – and not in a good way. Fewer than six minutes into Tuesday’s 2-1 preseason victory over the Tampa Bay Lighting, Stalberg made his way slowly to the bench and did not return.

The official word was that he sustained an “upper body injury” but he clutched his right shoulder all the way to the bench and as he headed back to the locker room.

Colin Wilson, Paul Gaustad and former Predator Matt Halischuk all missed time in 2012-13 because of shoulder injuries and had offseason surgery repair the joint – both of them in Wilson’s case.

“I would say that … we’ll keep [Stalberg] out for the rest of the preseason and see where we are a week from now,” coach Barry Trotz said.

The 27-year-old Stalberg, who signed a four-year, $12 million contract in July, missed just nine regular-season games as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks the past three seasons.

With Nashville’s opener now just over a week away (Oct. 3 at St. Louis) it seems he might miss time before he ever plays his first official game for his new team.

“It gives other guys opportunity,” captain Shea Weber said.