Blackhawk takes puck to throat, can’t talk, will still play

Niklas Hjalmarsson lays on the ice after being hit by the puck in Game 2 against the Minnesota Wild.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

It’s common knowledge that professional hockey players are tough, but sometimes it borders on crazy.

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson took a puck to the throat in Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Wild when he blocked a puck coming off a Wild snapshot.

You can see the play here:

The hit was bad enough that Hjalmarsson hasn’t been cleared to speak yet, but that’s not stopping him from playing in Game 3, according to the Chicago Tribune.

According to, Hjalmarsson wore a throat guard while participating in Tuesday’€™s morning skate.

And he’s got the backing of his coach and team. Coach Joel Quenneville said that not speaking won’t be too much of a problem.


Teammate Johnny Oduya pointed out the real reason Hjalmarsson won’t be missing a beat, and what we’ve all been thinking: 

"He’€™s a tough character. He’s a Swedish Viking. He’s one of a kind, obviously. It’s good for morale. We know he’s always out there doing his job."

The Blackhawks lead the series against the Wild 2-0.