ARLINGTON, V.A. — Washington Capitals winger Carl Hagelin has undergone arthroscopic surgery to address a chronic left hip injury on Monday morning, the team announced. He is out indefinitely and is listed as injured non-roster.
It marks a major loss for Washington and also puts Hagelin’s NHL comeback on hold. While this hip injury had been lingering for a bit, he was ultimately trying to return from a major eye injury that threatened his career.
Last March, the 34-year-old suffered a season-ending eye injury when he took a high stick to the left eye in competition drills. The stick blade ruptured his choroid, permanently taking away some of his vision and altering his depth perception. He had been skating on his own, but missed the rest of the season. In 53 games leading up to the injury, Hagelin posted three goals and 11 assists while serving as the team’s top penalty killer and contributing to the powerhouse fourth line with Nic Dowd and Garnet Hathaway.
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The Swede was taking part in Washington’s informal skates ahead of camp, wearing an oversized, tinted aviator visor and skating in a non-contact jersey to start. After a few days, though, he upgraded to a contact jersey and was getting involved physically. The eye injury was difficult to come back from, but Hagelin looked like he was determined to return to NHL action. That comeback is on hold for now.
This is the final year of Hagelin’s contract, as he becomes a UFA in July. He is on the long-term injured reserve. In 713 career NHL games, Hagelin has 110 goals and 186 assists for 296 points. He also won the Stanley Cup twice with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
To fill Hagelin’s void, Conor Sheary, Marcus Johanssen and Joe Snively have all gotten reps alongside Dowd and Hathaway on the fourth line through camp. It’s unclear who will slot in there to open the regular season. The Capitals open the season on Wednesday against the Boston Bruins.
Along with Hagelin, Tom Wilson is also injured non-roster. Nicklas Backstrom is on the long-term injured reserve. Meanwhile, Alex Alexeyev is on loan to the AHL’s Hershey Bears as he rehabilitates a shoulder injury.