Carl Hagelin has not played a game for the Washington Capitals since February 28. The fourth line winger suffered a severe left eye injury the next day during the final drill at practice. Hagelin had surgery and has remained out indefinitely.
Nearly three weeks later, Hagelin made his official return to the public on March 26. The Swedish forward, dressed in a suit, could be seen on the Capitals bench during the Capitals’ N1KY pregame ceremony for Nicklas Backstrom. The veteran of 11 NHL seasons was not wearing an eye patch.
Got it for ya this morning Ian! pic.twitter.com/eyeG6CiURp
— Rashelle (@rashelle_wilcox) March 27, 2022
Tuesday, Hagelin went out to the Washington Wizards game with birthday boy Tom Wilson and Trevor van Riemsdyk, who is also nursing an injury.
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) March 29, 2022
Capitals forwards Tom Wilson and Carl Hagelin as well as defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk are at the Wizards game tonight.
Hagelin underwent eye surgery, so good to see him out and about. pic.twitter.com/dIQR5JSwEk
— Andrew Gillis (@Andrew_Gillis70) March 29, 2022
Hagelin could be seen waving and smiling to fans along with his teammates.
Hagelin’s return to the Capitals this season is unclear. General manager Brian MacLellan revealed on March 21 that Hagelin “is going to have another surgery here coming up shortly, and then we’ll see what happens after that.
Per a source, Hagelin is believed not to have had that surgery yet on his eye.
According to Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette, Hagelin returning to hockey is “secondary right now.”
“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 last week. “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 vision part is the biggest concern,” MacLellan added.
Hagelin played an important role on the Capitals’ fourth line and penalty kill units. During the month of February, Hagelin played his best hockey of the season, posting seven points (1g, 6a) in 10 games.
Headline photo: @WashWizards/Twitter
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