Hammer Time: Hjalmarsson Scenario a Win for the San Jose Sharks?

July 15th, 2010 by Patrick Goulding II Leave a reply »

The Chicago Blackhawks basically told the San Jose Sharks 'can't touch this' when it comes to defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson. The Sharks made a handsome offer to the restricted free agent, putting $14 million over four years and two top three 2011 draft picks on the line last week.

The Blackhawks revealed on Monday that they would match the offer, keeping Hjalmarsson in Chicago.

While the Sharks now need to move on without the services of the up-and-coming Swede, this decision by Chicago may have been a blessing in disguise. After two confusing Sharks signings in previous weeks, the Blackhawks may have bailed Sharks GM Doug Wilson out of a third reach. Or did Wilson have this planned all along?

Hjalmarsson may well be worth $3.5 million per year, based on his contributions to the Blackhawks' Cup run last year, but throwing in a first and third round draft choice in compensation would have been a questionable proposition at best. However, the Blackhawks freed the Sharks from this financial liability by matching the offer. In the process, they gave Hjalmarsson a sizable raise that will force further roster moves to keep them under the ...

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