The defender of the Chicago Blackhawks received a match penalty for his play late hit on St. Louis Blues right wing. A little more now could be coming.
Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson will explain to Monday, when it is expected to have a telephone hearing with the Ministry of Security NHL Player.
The hearing of phone is the result of a match penalty Hjalmarsson was issued for charging and illegal check to the head of St. Louis Blues winger Ty Rattie on Saturday night.
Hjalmarsson did it in the neutral zone with 1:05 remaining in the 4-0 victory over Chicago at the United Center. Rattie trying to get by controlling Blackhawks winger Richard Panik left when Hjalmarsson entered him. While the video shows his elbow was down, the feet of HJALMARSSON did leave the ice to deliver the blow. His shoulder seems to make contact with the head Rattie.
Hjalmarsson was suspended once before. He received a two-game ban for hitting then-Buffalo Sabres winger Jason Pominville from behind right in 2010. However, it would not be considered a repeat offender. Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said after the game that Rattie was fine.
Hjalmarsson is a four best defenseman with the Blackhawks who played for Sweden at the recent World Cup of Hockey. He posted two goals and 24 points in 81 games last season. Rattie spent most of the 2015-16 season in the American League with the Chicago Wolves, where he scored 17 goals and 46 points in 62 games. He appeared in 13 games with Blues, scoring four times while adding a pair of helpers.
UPDATE: Department of the NHL Player Safety announced Monday that Hjalmarsson was suspended for the rest of the preseason, and will be suspended for the first game of the regular season.
"Approaching speed, Hjalmarsson launches and its success, the material making contact with the head of Rattie," Patrick Burke, director of NHL player safety, said in the video suspension. Burke added that if Rattie was eligible to be hit, the check came from an illegal manner, with the Blackhawks defenseman to start to make contact.