When the Chicago Blackhawks open the 2016-17 season on Oct. 12 against the St. Louis Blues, they will have to do so without the services of defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson.
That is because the NHL announced on Monday evening that the veteran defenseman has been suspended for the remainder of the preseason (two games) and one regular season game for charging Blues forward Ty Rattie.
The incident happened late in the third period of their preseason game on Saturday and resulted on Hjalmarsson receiving a match penalty.
Here is another look at the play, as well as the NHL’s explanation of the hit and the punishment.
From the NHL’s explanation of the play: “This is not a case where a player comes off the ice after contact as a result of the force of the hit. As Hjalmarsson steps up to deliver the hit, both players are low and in an athletic position. However, rather than staying low and delivering a hit through Rattie’s shoulder or chest, Hjalmarsson launches himself up and into Rattie, making substantial contact with his head.”
Rattie was not injured as a result of the play, while Hjalmarsson has previously been suspended one other time in his career.