The San Jose Sharks have signed Niklas Hjalmarsson -- a key part of the Blackhawks' defensive corps -- to an offer sheet worth $14 million over four years.
The Hawks have seven days to match the offer for Hjalmarsson, a restricted free agent. If they don't, Hjalmarsson joins the Sharks and the Hawks get San Jose's first and third round picks in 2011.
"We feel Niklas is a top-three defenseman in the National Hockey League," Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said in a statement. "We saw his abilities first-hand in the playoffs last season and he was an important piece of a Stanley Cup-winning team. He is a solid player that would be a good fit on our team now and in the future."
Hjalmarsson's agent Kevin Epp said a number of teams have contacted him about the defenseman's services.
"It shows how he's regarded around the league," Epp said. "That's what it shows."