Stan Bowman is an extending machine these days! Monday he gave Corey Crawford a 6 year contract extension and today Niklas Hjalmarsson gets a new 5 year deal locking him up through the 2018-19 season. Bowman obviously does not want these guys to even come close to the free agent market. I expect him to do the same with both Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane next year as well.
Hjalmarsson is coming off one of his best seasons as a pro and still has plenty of good years ahead of him. Bowman has clearly identified who his core is and now the rest of slots will be filled with up and coming young talent and veterans willing to play on the cheap for a shot at the Stanley Cup. You don't win Cups by being the biggest spenders on the first day of free agency, you do it from within.
Financial terms look pretty good in my opinion!
Hjalmarsson deal with Hawks worth $4.1 M per year on average— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) September 4, 2013