ARLINGTON, V.A. — Washington Capitals forward Carl Hagelin hasn’t gotten to hit the ice since suffering a “serious” eye injury at the end of a March 1 practice. However, he’s been around and in high spirits.
Hagelin has been around the practice facility and was spotted at the Washington Wizards game on Tuesday, and head coach Peter Laviolette said there are positive signs for No. 62.
“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.”
In the month of March, Hagelin had to undergo two eye surgeries after taking a stick up high during competition drills. There is still no timetable for the Swede’s return to the lineup.
“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.”
READ MORE ON WHN: Snively Takes Ice Prior To Capitals Practice
Through 53 games this season, Hagelin had three goals and 11 assists and was playing a key role on the penalty kill, while also working well to generate pressure on the forecheck with Nic Dowd and Garnet Hathaway on the powerhouse fourth line. He last played on Feb. 28.
With the 33-year-old out, Axel Jonsson-Fjallby has been filling in for him after a call-up from the AHL’s Hershey Bears. New acquisition Johan Larsson is also expected to step into his fourth-line role. Larsson is a strong defensive forward who brings a lot to the table that Hagelin did.
Hagelin is currently on the long-term injured reserve, saving the team $2.75 million in cap space. Joe Snively is also on the LTIR with Hagelin following wrist surgery.
The update comes on a day of good news on the injury front for the Capitals. Snively hit the ice prior to practice to work with a skating coach, and the team also saw Larsson, Nic Dowd and Trevor van Riemsdyk going hard at practice in regular contact jerseys. Larsson is a possibility for Sunday, per Laviolette.