Another Chicago Blackhawks legend is calling it a career.
Chicago Blackhawks legend Niklas Hjalmarsson is hanging up the skates after 14 seasons in the NHL according to Craig Morgan. Hjalmarsson spent ten seasons with the Blackhawks during which time he won three Stanley Cups and played in over 623 games during the regular season, and an additional 128 during the playoffs.
Hjalmarsson will always be remembered in Chicago for being a part of that electric core that won three Stanley Cups, and honestly, he did not get the credit he deserved during his time here. He did not score the amazing flashy goals, rather was a workhorse on the blue line and blocked 298 shots during his time in the postseason with this team.
Hjalmarsson was traded from Chicago to Arizona during the 2017 offseason. The team added Connor Murphy during the swap and now Murphy is an integral part of the team. However immediately after this trade occurred it was a tough sell for Blackhawks fans. Hjalmarsson was one of the best defensemen on this team and a class act, and I would argue if they had him for another season or two they could have made the postseason a few more times.
This is another integral part of the Blackhawks championship days hanging up the skates. Seabrook, Shaw, and Crawford all retired recently, and Duncan Keith was just traded to Edmonton a week or so ago, now the team has a handful of new faces on their defense, and hopefully one of them will be half as good as Hjalmarsson was in Chicago.
I would have said that number four would never be worn again in Chicago, but newly acquired Seth Jones seems to have the number on his back for the next nine years with this team:
This coming season I hope the Blackhawks can give Hjalmarsson a proper send-off in this city with a one more shift-styled celebration, or maybe a one-day contract so that he can retire with this team.
Hjalmarsson was never the loudest voice or the best player on the team during the championship years, but he was one of the best ever at doing his job and shutting down opposing offenses. Thank you Niklas Hjalmarsson and congratulations on retirement!