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Chicago Blackhawks Niklas Hjalmarsson Turns 30 Today

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Feb 21, 2017; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson (4) waits for the faceoff in the second period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 21, 2017; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson (4) waits for the faceoff in the second period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports /
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Feb 21, 2017; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson (4) waits for the faceoff in the second period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 21, 2017; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson (4) waits for the faceoff in the second period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports /

Niklas Hjalmarsson of the Chicago Blackhawks is celebrating his birthday.  It’s a pretty big one, as the defenseman turns 30-years old today. 

The Swedish Viking.  Hjammer.  A warrior.  Whatever you choose to call him, Hjalmarsson has been an important member of the Chicago Blackhawks since the 2007-08 season.  His first season as an everyday player was the 2009-10 season, where he partook in 77 regular season games, and 22 playoff games.  That was also the year he won his first Stanley Cup.  He’s gone on to win two more Cups with the Hawks, and doesn’t look to be slowing down any time soon.

I have a confession to make.  The first year I really became the dedicated hockey fan I am today was this same 2009-10 season, when the Hawks won the Cup.  Does this make me a bandwagon fan?  Call me that if you must, but it leads into my story, so you’re just going to have to deal with it.

Myself, my husband, and friends were soaking it all up.  We were falling in love with the game just like I’m sure all of you can remember doing at some point or another in your life.  What a better way to do so than to watch this young Chicago Blackhawks team take the NHL by storm?  What a great ride!

There were all these big names to watch.  Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook.  Not to mention Marian Hossa, and Patrick Sharp.  And then there was this Swedish guy named Niklas Hjalmarsson.  “Who the hell is Hjalmarsson?”.  Nobody really knew about him.  He was fairly new, an underdog.  If you read my posts on any kind of a regular basis, you know I love underdogs.

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But the real reason I fell in love with Hjalmarsson was because of his name.  Every time he touched the puck, it was so fun to yell, “Hjalmarsson!”, at the top of your lungs (try it, you’ll like it).

We all did it.  When my husband told me he could get me any Blackhawks jersey I wanted, you better believe I chose Hjalmarsson.  I have many other jerseys now (the hubby is a bit of a nut in that regard), but my favorite is still Hjalmarsson.   It’s snagged in a bunch of places, and the number 4 is a bit wavy, but I don’t care.

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