The Arizona Coyotes announced today that veteran defenceman Niklas Hjalmarsson will be sidelined for three months with a cracked fibula. In a corresponding move, the Coyotes have recalled Kyle Capobianco.
Arizona Coyotes Forward Niklas Hjalmarsson Injured
The Coyotes’ worst fears have been confirmed: Per league source, D Niklas Hjalmarsson will miss approximately three months with a cracked fibula sustained when he blocked Erik Johnson‘s slapshot at 6:21 of the first period of a 3-2 OT loss to Colorado at Pepsi Center on Saturday.
— Craig Morgan (@craigsmorgan) October 14, 2019
Hjalmarsson was injured blocking a shot to the left leg in the first period of Arizona’s 3-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday. The Coyotes reported that he had a lower-body injury and would not return to the game. After the game, Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet said, “At this point, I’m not sure, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to be day-to-day. That’s a big loss for us. Nik is a good defenseman.” Craig Morgan, a senior writer for The Athletic, reported that Hjalmarsson was sitting on the training table with left leg immobilized and that he left Pepsi Center on crutches after the game and got into a private car, seemingly not travelling with the team to Winnipeg for their next game on Tuesday against the Winnipeg Jets.
So far this season, he has one goal in four games. His possession numbers were 54.8 percent Corsi and a relative Corsi of 3.5.
Over his 13-year NHL career, Hjalmarsson has played for the Chicago Blackhawks and the Coyotes. He won three Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks before he was traded to Arizona in 2017. Hjalmarsson has 25 goals and 38 assists in 757 career games. He was originally drafted in 2005, 108th overall, by the Blackhawks.
What This Means for the Future
Hjalmarsson will leave a big hole in the Coyotes defence. Kyle Capobianco was called up in a corresponding move and the club also has Ilya Lyubushkin on the active roster as well. One of these two will fill in while Hjalmarsson is sidelined. Capobianco only has three games of NHL experience over the past two years. He has yet to register a point.
Lybushkin, on the other hand, played in 41 games last season where he registered four assists.
The two of these defenceman will likely rotate through the lineup and slot in on the third pairing.
The Coyotes next game is on Tuesday night where they will visit the Winnipeg Jets.
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