Washington Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan spoke at length with the media on Monday after the NHL’s trade deadline and one of the topics was the health status of Carl Hagelin. Hagelin has been out for almost three weeks after undergoing emergency eye surgery.
When asked if the speedy winger could make his way back to the team this season, MacLellan told The Washington Post’s Samantha Pell that Hagelin is set to go under the knife again.
“He’s going to have another surgery here coming up shortly,” MacLellan said. “And then we’ll see what happens after that.”
Hagelin has been missing from the Caps lineup since March 1 when he suffered the injury at the end of a practice. The last time he suited up in a game was on February 28 in a loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
To help with Hagelin’s absence which could keep him out long-term, the Capitals acquired two Swedish, bottom-six forwards at the deadline. Marcus Johansson looks like he’ll slot in on the third line and Johan Larsson is a defensive specialist that plays a very similar game to Hagelin. Axel Jonsson-Fjallby is also still with the team.
Johan Larsson (traded from arizona at 50% retained to the caps for a third) is a strong shutdown forward. pic.twitter.com/SJJJVAbXAX
— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) March 21, 2022
“He could do that,” MacLellan said when asked if Larsson would replace Hagelin. “He’s a guy that coaches can move around and feel comfortable with him on the ice against good players. He’s a responsible player.”
With Hagelin out, Tom Wilson and Nic Dowd have taken on the bulk of the penalty-killing work among the Caps forwards. Both are averaging over two minutes of shorthanded ice time per game in the month of March. Larsson is averaging 1:49 of shorthanded ice time per game this season himself, second among all Coyotes forwards.
After the two deadline additions, The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir reported what he believes the Caps forwards group should look like when all parties are healthy. He did not include Hagelin in his projection.
When entirely healthy, the #Caps’ forward lineup *should* look something like this:
— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) March 21, 2022
Hagelin has one more season remaining on his contract after this one with a $2.75 million cap hit.
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB
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