Fresh off what The Moose considers an uncomfortable extension with Crow, Bowman extended Niklas Hjalmarsson’s contract. According to Pierre LeBrun:
Pierre LeBrun @Real_ESPNLeBrun 2h
Hjalmarsson deal with Hawks worth $4.1 M per year on average
A net increase of $600,000 annually.
That’s a great number and term.
Like Crawford, Hjalmarsson is under contract for the upcoming season. This extension starts for the 2014-15 and runs through 2018-19.
Hjammer has a touchy past with some fans, having signed an offer sheet with general manager Doug Wilson and the San Jose Sharks after the successful 2010 season. This resulted in a huge raise for the Stay-At-Home defenseman ($666,000 to $3.5MM) and the subsequent loss of goaltender Antti Niemi. Such detachment had many thinking a $5MM+ AVV deal would have to be made.
Not so for Bowman.
[Editor's Note: I'd like to think there was a spite-tinged/Godfather-esque showdown in this negotiation. Something along the lines of "Here's the deal if you want to stay. Otherwise, you're dead to me."]
The Chicago Blackhawks’ GM has added just under $4MM to a cap many expect to vastly increase. There are those that feel that a currently deflating Canadian dollar should temper expectations. Either way, it’s quite likely that there will be a new B/U tendy to Crow, perhaps Antti Raanta, which should save some money. The rest of the 2014-15 roster is RFAs, Brandon Bollig and Michal Handzus. Easily managed.
Hjalmarsson has been the best Stay-At-Home option on the reigning Jennings Trophy defense. He’s deceptively big at 6’3″/205 lbs, more gangly sinew than hulking mass associated with the SAH-types. Still, there are few players in the league that rival his toughness.
No one can forget the personal sacrifice he made stopping a shot with the back of his knee against the Los Angeles Kings in Game 3.