CHICAGO – The Blackhawks will be down a veteran defenseman for the start of the 2016-2017 season.
On Monday the NHL suspended Niklas Hjalmarsson for the remained of the preseason and one regular season game after hitting Blues’ forward Ty Rattie in the head with a check on Saturday.
That means the defenseman will miss Tuesday’s preseason game with the Red Wings at the United Center along with the finale against the Blues in St. Louis on Saturday. If the suspension holds than Hjalmarsson would likely miss the team’s opening night game against St. Louis in Chicago on Wednesday, October 12th.
Hjalmarsson delivered the hit in the third period against the Blues at the United Center and was given a match penalty.
A three-time Stanley Cup champion with the Blackhawks, Hjalmarsson is set to begin his ninth year with the team. Last season he had two goals and 27 assists in 81 games with a plus/minus of 13.