Washington Capitals forward Carl Hagelin suffered a severe eye injury late in a practice in early March. Since then, he has had surgery on his eye that will keep him out indefinitely and general manager Brian MacLellan revealed that the Swedish forward will go under the knife yet again and have a second surgery.
Caps head coach Peter Laviolette spoke about Hagelin’s current status in his morning spot with 106.7 The Fan’s Sports Junkies on Wednesday.
“With another surgery coming up, we’re hopeful that everything – with regard to his vision and the rest of his life and the game of life, that’s the most important thing,” Laviolette said. “Such a great person in our room and a great player, we certainly miss him. But that’s kind of secondary right now to what he’s dealing with and so hopefully things stay positive. There’s been some good signs and some good news in there but he still has more work to do with regard to the eye.”
The last time Hagelin suited up in a game was on February 28 in a loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. To help with Hagelin’s absence, the Capitals went out and acquired two versatile Swedish forwards at the deadline in the form of Marcus Johansson and Johan Larsson. The bulk of the responsibility looks like it will land on Larsson’s shoulders but Axel Jonsson-Fjallby is still with the team and skating in Hagelin’s normal position on the fourth line while Larsson continues to recover from sports hernia surgery.
Hagelin, until his injury, was only being bested by Nic Dowd in terms of penalty kill minutes among forwards on the team. With him out, the Caps will need others to step up and fill that 1:54 of ice time per game as well as find a fit on a line that Laviolette loves to match up against the opposition’s top lines.
“You gotta know when they’re out there. You gotta be responsible, know the situation you’re in,” Larsson said when asked if he could fill that role. “You’re always up against good players. They’re gonna make plays but take them away as much as you can.”
First things first, however. Get well soon, Hags!
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB
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