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Arizona Coyotes UFA Defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson is retiring

Add another Chicago Blackhawks living legend to the list of players hanging up the skates this year. Corey Crawford, Brent Seabrook, Andrew Shaw, and now Niklas Hjalmarsson.

According to Arizona Coyotes reporter Craig Morgan, the 34-year-old Hjalmarsson is calling it a career after 14 seasons in the NHL with the Chicago Blackhawks and Arizona Coyotes.

Hjalmarsson, a former fourth-round pick by the Blackhawks in the 2005 NHL Draft, was a key member of Chicago’s defensive group for his entire career in Chicago. Part of all three “One Goal” era Stanley Cup Championship teams for the Blackhawks, Hjalmarsson was never an offensive-spark but his work defensively was virtually unmatched during his career.

He skated in 821 NHL games in his career, 623 with the Blackhawks. He also played in 137 career Stanley Cup playoff games, 128 coming with the Blackhawks. Since the 2009-10 season, Hjalmarsson ranks sixth in the league with 1,575 blocked shots and is fourth in the league in blocked shots per 60 minutes at a 71.04 marker. Putting his body on the line and blocking shots was truly his calling card and legacy in the NHL and is what made him a fan favorite wherever he played.

Igor Burdetskiy

Igor Burdetskiy

Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & CEO at Hooked on Hockey Magazine
I grew up playing Ball and Roller Hockey day and night somewhat religiously throughout elementary and middle school. The two don't compare though when I lace up the skates and hit the ice. I live and breathe hockey beyond the perspective of "it's just a game" and I will gladly talk hockey for hours with anyone. Hockey is more than just a lifestyle, it's a culture of passionate people who make memories every time the puck is dropped. Hockey has not only helped me get through some of the hardest times in life but has created some of the best memories to date. Want to talk hockey with me? Shoot me an email: and let's talk some hockey!
Igor Burdetskiy
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