Carl Hagelin may have made a short detour through LA on his way to Washington, DC, but before that, he spent nearly three years in Pittsburgh and helped them raise the Stanley Cup twice.
He was a ‘Caps-killer’ to his new team until recently, but to the Penguins he was “a guy who played [a] lot of important roles for us over the years,” said Hagelin’s former captain Sidney Crosby. “He had a great attitude every day. He was someone who always raised his level of play in the playoffs.”
Hagelin has faced off against the Capitals in six different playoff series, scoring six goals over 35 playoff games. His team has eliminated the Capitals in the playoffs five different times.
He’ll make his first return to PPG Paints Arena on Tuesday rocking the red. Crosby said it will be “Weird. Really weird.”
Hagelin said he imagines it will be weirder for his former teammates and the friends he’s still in touch with than it will be for him. “It definitely will be different because I play for one of their biggest rivals now,” Hagelin said of his return. “It would be similar if I was with the (Philadelphia) Flyers.”
Hagelin spent 16 games with Pittsburgh this season and 22 with the LA Kings. He scored one goal with each–a total he’s already matched in just eight games with the Capitals.
A video tribute is expected to play for Hagelin during the first intermission. Since the Penguins video team probably haven’t had time to include this highlight-reel goal Hagelin scored against the Jets on Sunday, we’ll go ahead and put it here.
As Tom Wilson said, “His skating is elite and we’re happy to have him on our side.”
Headline image: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America
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