Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson has been suspended for the remainder of the preseason and one regular season game by NHL Player Safety. Hjalmarsson receives the punishment for charging Blues forward Ty Rattie in a preseason game on Saturday night.
He will lose $22,777.78 due to the one-game suspension, per the Chicago Sun-Times’ Mark Lazerus.
The ruling by NHL Player Safety means that Hjalmarsson will miss the Blackhawks’ season opener against St. Louis at the United Center on Oct. 12. He’ll also be forced to miss preseason games against the Red Wings on Tuesday and the Blues on Saturday.
The Blackhawks now have to figure out who will play in the opener next Wednesday. Duncan Keith’s status is still uncertain as he rehabs his knee and now Hjalmarsson will miss the game. If both players are out, Chicago will have to figure out a temporary plan to replace them.
Hjalmarsson had a hearing with NHL Player Safety over the phone on Monday. This is his second suspension after getting two games for a hit on Jason Pominville in October 2010.