Sports Veteran defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson retires
The Most Interesting Team of the 2021 NHL Off-Season? The Los Angeles Kings
They've already made one major trade, they still have cap space to spare, and their division shapes up as the league's softest next season. It's time for L.A. to pursue some big-name acquisitions. © Provided by Hockey News on Sports Illustrated It was an expansion-draft trade. As a team rumored to be protecting four or five defensemen from the Seattle Kraken later this month, the Nashville Predators knew they were in position to lose a useful forward. They shipped right winger Viktor Arvidsson to the Los Angeles Kings for a 2021 second-round pick and a 2022 third-round pick rather than lose him for nothing.
The career of one of the best defensive defensemen of the modern era is coming to an end. Craig Morgan of AZ Coyotes Insiderthat Arizona unrestricted free agent is set to retire. Morgan notes that the humble veteran is unlikely to make a formal announcement, but multiple sources have confirmed that Hjalmarsson’s NHL career has ended.
While Hjalmarsson is still a capable pro, this move should not come as much of a surprise. The 34-year-old has been in decline over the last few years, more or less since leaving the Chicago Blackhawks in 2017. This season, he refused to waive his No-Movement Clause ahead of the trade deadline, preferring to stay with his family in Arizona rather than compete for a Stanley Cup. It seems that his three titles with Chicago were enough for the respected veteran, and when that drive is gone the career doesn’t last much longer. Recently, rumors emerged that his family would be moving back to his native Sweden, again a sign that Hjalmarsson was ready to move on as well.
How Will the Canadiens Replace Shea Weber?
Several injuries could force Montreal Canadiens captain Shea Weber to the sidelines for the entirety of 2021-22 campaign. His potential absence raises the question of how they'll replace the 35-year-old defenseman. © Provided by Hockey News on Sports Illustrated Several injuries could force Montreal Canadiens captain Shea Weber to the sidelines for the entirety of 2021-22 campaign - and perhaps for good. His potential absence raises the question of how they'll repla The combination of nagging injuries and his age slowed Weber in recent years.
While Hjalmarsson never received the accolades of other top defenseman or even his other championship teammates with the Blackhawks, he was quietly one of the best defensive players in the NHL over much of his career. A player whose numbers don’t do him justice, Hjalmarsson played with elite hockey IQ and vision, rarely getting caught out of position. Hjalmarsson could single-handedly shut down an offensive rush or stymie a power play. An incredibly effective shot blocker, Hjalmarsson’s defensive zone presence was the stuff of nightmares for the opposition in his prime. While only ever contributing modest offense, not much of puck-mover, and not a noticeable physical presence, it didn’t matter – Hjalmarsson was an effective top-four defenseman all the same. A dependable player who ate minutes and took on difficult match-ups throughout his career, including 137 career playoff games, Hjalmarsson was a key piece of every team he played for.
Who will go No. 1 at 2021 NHL Draft? Owen Power, Luke Hughes among 10 candidates for top spot
The NHL Draft will be held virtually July 23-24.There was no player that everyone had to know before the year. There was not going to be a #FallinForDahlin, #LoseForHughes, or even a #FailForNail tanking slogan. This was always going to be a draft in which there would be a year-long, thorough discussion about who deserved to become the 58th No. 1 pick in NHL Draft history.
While not unexpected, Hjalmarsson’s departure from Arizona is yet another confirmed absence from the Coyotes’ 2021-22 blue line, which is set to look very different. Arizona had seven defensemen play 40+ games this past season. Heading into the off-season, four of those were unrestricted free agents: Hjalmarsson,, , and . A fifth, captain , has since been traded. Hjalmarsson is now confirmed not to return and veterans Goligoski and Demers are not expected to return either. Depth defensemen and are also UFA’s and may not re-sign. will lead a new unit that looks to include , , , and rookie . Chychrun will need to channel Hjalmarrson and other former teammates if he want to play the well-rounded game needed to become a bona fide No. 1 and leader of a young defense corps.
Post-Free Agent Frenzy: Some Big Questions Remain .
The big fish are gone. There are now more teams over the cap ceiling than there are below the cap floor. But as free agent frenzy has died down, not every team’s needs have been adequately addressed. Here's a look at five teams that aren't done yet.The big fish are gone. There are now more teams over the cap ceiling than there are below the cap floor. But as free agent frenzy has died down, not every team’s needs have been adequately addressed.