The Chicago Blackhawks announced Wednesday that Niklas Hjalmarsson agreed to a five year contract extension. The deal is worth an annual cap hit of $4.1 million, according to ESPN. His extension goes into effect for the 2014-15 campaign. His current deal carries a cap hit of $3.1 million.
Rejoice, as the raise for the 26-year old will look good as he continues to reach his prime. While Hjalmarsson will never score at the rate of a Duncan Keith or Brent Seabrook, his penchant to lock down scorers and block shots is invaluable.
Hjalmarsson was signed to his current deal after the 2010 Stanley Cup run, and his signing cost the team a chance at re-signing former goaltender Antti Niemi. A lot of fans and hockey minds disagreed with the choice, but “Hammer” has grown into a very good shutdown defenseman.
This signing, along with the Corey Crawford extension over Labor Day weekend, signals general manager Stan Bowman’s willingness to sign the core of the team long-term. As mentioned with ...