Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Blackhawks' Niklas Hjalmarsson suspended for high hit, will miss season opener
When the Chicago Blackhawks open their season against the St. Louis Blues on October 12, they will be missing one of their best defenders.
On Monday, the Department of the NHL Player Safety announced that Niklas Hjalmarsson was suspended for the rest of the preseason and regular season game for its "high, illegal move" Blues before Ty Rattie in the game pre- Saturday night season between the rivals of the central section. Chicago has only two contests remaining pre-season, so it comes down to a three-game ban for once.
The ministry Hjalmarsson was guilty of charging after launching its success on Rattie. Blackhawks defenseman received a match penalty for an illegal check to the head, which came with just over a minute remaining in regulation in Saturday's game.
Rattie was shaken, but not injured. In addition, Hjalmarsson has been suspended once before in his career. These two facts were among the considerations the length of the suspension.
Here is a look at the full explanation of the NHL for the suspension:
For the Blackhawks, which puts them in a difficult situation in their season opener. No. 1 defenseman Duncan Keith has yet to play in the preseason, but is expected to skate opening night. Hjalmarsson would normally skating pairing it with Keith.
Meanwhile, the team has several defenders are fighting for an open spot on the list. It seems that the offseason acquisition Michal Kempny and Gustav Forsling perspective have the inside track on winning a job on the list every day. One of these two will have a very good shot to be in alignment with opening night now out Hjalmarsson. Other defenders fighting for spots include Viktor Svedberg and Cameron Schilling.
They certainly have the body to compensate for the loss, but it will be harder to Chicago to start the season on the right foot without their defender primary stop.