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After Devastating Eye Injury, Capitals’ Hagelin Has Changed His Visor



Capitals forward Carl Hagelin

As the Washington Capitals start to make their way back onto the ice at MedStar Capitals Iceplex ahead of Day 1 of training camp on Sept. 22 for informal skates, there’s one player that stands out from the rest: Carl Hagelin. And he has a new look.

Hagelin is sporting a brand new visor and donning a powder blue non-contact jersey. The visor is a tinted, oversized aviator-style shield, marking a major change for the power forward.

In the past, the Swede had been well-known for wearing his visor tilted upward. It played a devastating role back on March 1, when a high stick easily made its way under the visor and through Hagelin’s left eye during competition drills to close out practice. The stick ended up rupturing his choroid, leading to a permanent loss in some of his vision and damaging his depth perception.

“It’s possible, the stick kind of came from an angle where it came a little bit from underneath. You could always look back at that. It’s frustrating when it happens in practice,” Hagelin said of his visor. “You don’t think that should ever happen in practice… so I think that’s more the frustrating part. But whatever happened happened. And I can’t take that back now.”

Still, Hagelin is ready to do what it takes to keep his career alive. He plans to use his good eye to compensate and eye training to get that perception back. He was also seeing eye doctors every 10 days to track his progress. Plus, not only will the visor prevent high sticks and damage, but the tint will be a major help for his eye, as it reduces glare and helps with blocking out light.


READ MORE ON WHN: Washington Capitals’ Carl Hagelin Opens Up About ‘Total Darkness,’ Extent Of Devastating Eye Injury

Hagelin has been skating with teammates Anthony Mantha, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Nick Jensen, John Carlson, Dmitry Orlov Garnet Hathaway, Joe Snively, Hendrix Lapierre, Alex Alexeyev, Sam Anas, Marcus Johansson and Vincent Iorio ahead of camp. He’s not taking any hits or contact.

In 53 games last season, Hagelin dished three goals and 11 assists for 14 points. He also led the way on the team’s penalty kill and also proved to be fundamental on that the powerhouse fourth line alongside Nic Dowd and Garnet Hathaway. The last time Hagelin played was on Feb. 28 against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Right now, it’s unclear whether or not Hagelin will be able to return by the start of the season. The team expected a further update on Hagelin in August at his follow-up. Ultimately, him being on the ice is a positive sign and a step in the right direction.

With Hagelin out, along with Nickals Backstrom and Tom Wilson, Connor Brown will likely take the reins on the penalty kill. If Hagelin returns, there could be a major lineup shakeup. But right now, things are still up in the air, though he’s driven to return at some point in the final year of his contract.