It was a fun thought while it lasted. Sharks fans toyed with the idea of a defensive unit boosted by Hjalmarsson, but according to Adam Jahns, Chicago Blackhawks beat writer for the Chicago Sun-Times, the Blackhawks will match the offer submitted to the Sharks. Via Twitter:
#Blackhawks will match Hjalmarsson's offer
The offer is worth $14 million and the thought was that the Blackhawks may be too constrained by the cap to match, but now it appears that won't be an issue. Niklas Hjalmarsson will not be a San Jose Shark in 2010. San Jose still has pressing needs on the defensive side of things, especially without Evgeni Nabokov around to bail them out as much as he did. They'll need to look elsewhere, unless they plan on pressing forward with re-signing free agents and the like, in which case I see the fan confidence plummeting.