Jun 28, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson (4) during the 2013 Stanley Cup championship celebration at Grant Park in Chicago. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
The extensions just keep on coming for the Blackhawks this week.
Does Stan Bowman know something? Has he returned from the future and already knows that the salary cap will be a lot bigger number than its present state? For the second time this week the Blackhawks have announced a long-term extension for a “core” player. Todays extension is a 5 year extension for defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson. Hjalmarsson career stats are 9 goals 47 assists +48, but the only real stat that matters is he’s been a major defensive player in both the 2010 and 2013 Stanley Cup Championships.
Hjalmarsson will reportedly get a $600,000 a year raise with the new deal by getting $4.1 million a season.
Stan Bowman is locking down the ship before there is any chance of rocking it. It’s ironic how close Hjalmarsson was to leaving the Blackhawks after their first Stanley Cup in 2010 with many at the time questioning Stan Bowman’s decision of keeping Hjalmarsson and letting Antti Niemi leave for the San Jose Sharks.
In the end it was a great decision with Hjalmarsson becoming one of the top defenseman on the Blackhawks especially when you look at his +/- each and every year, and how many shots he blocks throughout the season and in key times during the playoffs.
Hjalmarsson was the 108th selection (4th round) of the 2005 NHL draft by the Blackhawks and his only 26 years old. With his new deal Hjalmarsson will be signed with the Blackhawks through the 2018-2019 season.
If the 2010 offseason was about purging and disruption, the 2013 offseason has been about stability and one goal!
The Blackhawks core are in their young prime, and Stan Bowman and the Chicago Blackhawks organization are locking it all down for what hopefully could be a Blackhawks dynasty in the 2010’s!
Another core player is signed for a long time! Who’s NEXT?
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