Although he’s not playing, Carl Hagelin is still having a positive impact on the Washington Capitals as he continues to work his way back from a “serious” eye injury.
Hagelin joined the Capitals on their trip to Sunrise for Games 1 and 2 against the Florida Panthers to open the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He got some individual work in, skating with strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish. Hagelin was not in full gear but was wearing a full face shield and working with a hockey stick.
Head coach Peter Laviolette provided an update on No. 62 on Friday, though, and said the road to recovery is still a long one for Hagelin.
“It’s a positive that he’s here and that he’s out there stretching his legs. He’s not close,” Laviolette said.
Carl Hagelin (eye surgery) is on the ice with strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish. He’s wearing a Bauer bubble. No pads. Still, it’s progress and great to see. #Caps pic.twitter.com/VBluBhmYNb
— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) May 4, 2022
Hagelin last played on Feb. 28 against Toronto and ended the regular season with three goals and 11 assists in 53 games. On March 1 at the end of practice, Hagelin took a stick to the left eye during competition drills. The injury would require two eye surgeries and an indefinite time away. The Swede did get out to a Wizards game with a Tom Wilson and Trevor van Riemsdyk back in March and took the ice for the team photo in late April, but he hasn’t skated with the full group yet.
Still, Hagelin has been around the facility and has remained close with the team. And ultimately, he hopes he can continue his playing career.
“It’s amazing,” Garnet Hathaway said of his linemate. “We all miss him, and it’s been a tough journey for him. I can’t even begin to put myself in his shoes. For him to be in his Carl high spirits, it’s amazing to have him. I wish we had him on the ice, but to have him in the locker room, to have that presence is really incredible.”