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Simon Hjalmarsson has bid adieu to North America and likely ended his hopes of an NHL career.
Hjalmarsson, who signed with the Blue Jackets in early June, was sent to minor-league Springfield with one week left in training camp. He did physically travel to Springfield, Mass, but never took part in team activities, including practices.
He's expected to sign a lucrative deal to play in Russia's KHL.
"I told him before he left (for Springfield) that it still is the same thought process with us, in terms of how his game could help us," Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen said. "I don't think he was quite playing his game yet. He was close. he just needed some time to get adjusted, but he didn't feel like he wanted to play in the minors.
"In the back of your mind, you always know (veteran European players) arení»t going to stay (in the AHL)( for a long time. But not to go there at all was a bit of a surprise."
The Blue Jackets will list Hjalmarsson as "suspended" on the Springfield roster until he's placed on unconditional waivers in the next few days.
In five preseason games, Hjalmarsson had no goals, two assists and a minus-1 rating. He had four penalty minutes and took six shots on goal. After standing out early in game, his play began to tail off as the pace and tempo of the game increased.
"Sometimes it can be overwhelming for guys when they see the level of play and see the guys around them," Kekalainen said. "I talked with Simon when we sent him down, and we talked about him staying, taking the patient way, and giving it a chance."