Chicago Blackhawks Forward, Niklas Hjalmarsson has been suspended for the remainder of the preseason action, as well as one regular season game for a high hit on Saturday night against St. Louis Blues prospect, Ty Rattie.
Per the Department of Player Safety:
“Saturday night in Chicago, Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson delivered a high hit to Blues forward Ty Rattie, for which he was assessed a match penalty.
As shown in the replay, Rattie takes a pass from a teammate and breaks out of his own zone. He avoids the stick of a Blackhawks defender, then cuts up-ice with speed. Hjalmarsson steps up from his defensive position to defend Rattie; approaching with speed, he launches up and into his hit, making significant contact with Rattie’s head.
It is important to note that Rattie is eligible to be checked on this play, providing the hit is done in a legal manner. However, this is not a case where a player comes off the ice after the hit as a result of the force of the hit. As Hjalmarsson steps up to deliver the hit, both players are in a low and athletic position; however, rather than staying low and delivering a hit through Rattie’s shoulder or chest, Hjalmarsson launches himself up and into Rattie.”
Though the defenseman will only miss one game of 82 regular season games, the Blackhawks are thinning out on the blue line every year and the 29 year old veteran will be needed this season to help solidify the backend to help push the Blackhawks back to the postseason.
*video courtsey of SportsnetCanada