It looks like the Washington Capitals won’t be seeing Carl Hagelin back any time soon.
ESPN’s Emily Kaplan provided an update on the Capitals forward during ABC’s broadcast of the Capitals’ 6-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, saying it is “highly unlikely” that No. 62 will return this year. However, he is “hopeful” that he can resume his NHL career.
Hagelin suffered a “serious” eye injury after taking a stick up high at practice on March 1. He underwent surgery and will undergo another surgery.
The 33-year-old has been in good spirits, though. He has been around MedStar Capitals Iceplex and also attended a Wizards game with teammates Tom Wilson and Trevor van Riemsdyk back on March 29.
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Head coach Peter Laviolette gave an update on the veteran in March, who was a leader on the penalty kill and helped fuel the powerhouse fourth line with Nic Dowd and Garnet Hathaway.
“We see him every once in a while,” Laviolette said. “Spirits are good, he’s doing good. Still down a long road to recovery, but I see him in there once in a while. “He’s moving. A long road ahead of him. So I don’t know the exact details of it, but he’s got more work to do.”
Through 53 games this season, Hagelin dished three goals and 11 assists and was a plus-10 while averaging 14:14 minutes per game.
“It’s really tough without Carl. Every guy is feeling it in there,” head coach Peter Laviolette said of Hagelin earlier in the month. “He’s such an important part of our team in the room and on the ice, so we miss him. You take a guy like that out of the lineup, and you’re going to feel it.”
Hagelin is currently on the long-term injured reserve. He will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2022-23 campaign. Hagelin has played 11 years in the NHL with the Capitals, Penguins Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks and New York Rangers.