Niklas Hjalmarsson’s preseason has come to an early end. The Chicago Blackhawks defenseman will miss the remainder of his team’s preseason games as well as the opening game of the 2016-17 regular season.
Hjalmarsson was suspended for charging St. Louis Blues winger Ty Rattie. The hit came with just 1:05 remaining, with the Blackhawks leading 3-0. Hjalmarsson was given a match penalty for an illegal hit to the head by referees Tim Peel and Evgeny Romasko.
The NHL Department of Player Safety explained the decision, which also cost Hjalmarsson $22,777.78 in lost salary.
“Approaching with speed, Hjalmarsson launches up and into his hit, making significant contact with Rattie’s head. This is charging.”.
Chicago has just two games remaining on their preseason schedule. The Blackhawks start the season on Wednesday, October 12 at home against the St. Louis Blues.
All of them except for Hjalmarsson, that is. He’ll have to watch that one from the press box.