Ex-Blackhawk Niklas Hjalmarsson says goodbye to Chicago in Instagram post

One marriage. Two children. Three Stanley Cup rings. 

Niklas Hjalmarsson doesn’t know life in the National Hockey League outside of Chicago. The Swedish defenseman was drafted by the Blackhawks in the fourth round (108th overall pick) in the 2005 NHL draft and has been in the organization ever since.

But now, Hjalmarsson will start a new journey in Arizona.

After being traded to the Coyotes in June, the three-time Stanley Cup champion officially said goodbye to the city he spent a decade in with an emotional Instagram post to summarize his time in Chicago:

“This sums up me and my family’s 10 years in Chicago. The experience(s) have been absolutely fantastic,” he wrote. “Playing in front of a sold out United Center every game in front of the most passionate fans in the league. It’s been a privilege playing with the amazing group of guys on the team and the organization that has treated us like family.

“It’s sad to leave Chicago, but I’m now excited for a new adventure in Arizona. Thank you to everyone who made these years so memorable,” he added.

In the 2007-08 season, Hjalmarsson’s first season in North America, spend time with Chicago’s American Hockey League affiliate in Rockford then solidified a roster spot after the Hawks traded defenseman James Wisniewski to Anaheim.

During his time in Chicago, Hjalmarsson scored 23 goals and added 120 assists while being the backbone of the Hawks’ blueline.