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Niklas Hjalmarsson suspended for season-opener

Niklas Hjalmarsson received a match penalty for his hit on Ty Rattie on Saturday night (AP Photo)

Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson was suspended for the rest of the preseason and the season-opener on Oct. 12 for his high hit on St Louis’ Ty Rattie during Saturday night’s preseason game at the United Center.

Hjalmarsson had a hearing with the NHL department of player safety on Monday for the hit, which was deemed charging and which occurred late in the third period and precipitated a near brawl between the two heated rivals. It was an open-ice hit in which Hjalmarsson drove his right shoulder into Rattie’s head. Hjalmarsson received a match penalty for the hit.

In a video detailing the suspension, director of player safety Patrick Burke said Hjalmarsson “launches up and into his head, making significant contact with Rattie’s head.” Hjalmarsson has been suspended once before, in 2010.

Hjalmarsson will forfeit $22,777.78 in salary because of the suspension.