Blackhawks, Niklas Hjalmarsson Report: Slow Return On Risky Investment

January 16th, 2011 by Kyle Wahlgren Leave a reply »
Just as any business looks for ways to ensure profitability, the Chicago Blackhawks look for the same out of its players. Many risks were taken during the 2010 offseason, unknowing of what was to come.

It was simply the price to be paid of a long run to a Stanley Cup and a couple years of salary inflation.

Now in the midst of a season in which the Blackhawks have yet to carve an identity, we can start to measure some of the offseason moves that were routinely debated.

Last year the emergence of Niklas Hjalmarsson's development became a very versatile piece to the Blackhawks success. Predictably so, it would be easy to assume that should Hjalmarsson continue his growth. the position output would grow as well.

Many critics, fans and front office officials assumed it would either be Niklas Hjalmarsson or Antti Niemi to stay, and that any other option was financially "out-the-door".

Still in discussion is the move the Blackhawks made that would walk away from Niemi, and invest a future in Hjalmarsson. Understandably, Niemi not only provided a stable backstop, but also brought a humbled appreciation for success in a locker room ...

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