Blackhawks’ Hjalmarsson to have hearing for illegal hit to head


The NHL’s department of player safety announced on Sunday that Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson will have a hearing on Monday for charging and an illegal check to the head of St. Louis Blues forward Ty Rattie.

The incident happened late in the third period of the Blackhawks’ 4-0 win on Saturday night.

As Rattie was carrying the puck through the neutral zone, the Blackhawks’ defender caught him with a huge open ice hit that appeared to make direct contact with the head.

Hjalmarsson was assessed a match penalty for the hit. Rattie did not return to the game for the Blues.

Here is a look at the play.

The match penalty meant that Hjalmarsson was already suspended for the Blackhawks’ next game pending a league review.

This is the second incident the Department of Player Safety has had to review this preseason.

This past week Montreal Canadiens forward Andrew Shaw was suspended three preseason games for boarding Washington Capitals forward Connor Hobbs. Given that the NHL is harsher on direct hits to the head when it comes to discipline Hjalmarsson he could be looking at a suspension that will carry over into the regular season.