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6 things to know about newest Capital Carl Hagelin

6 things to know about newest Capital Carl Hagelin

Brian MacLellan made Carl Hagelin the newest Capital on Thursday in a trade with the Los Angeles Kings.

Most Caps fans know Hagelin as a speedy player who they absolutely hated when he was with the Pittsburgh Penguins, but there’s more to him than just his black and gold past.

Here are six interesting facts you may not know about Hagelin.

Hagelin played four years under Red Berenson at the University of Michigan

There are many amateur routes to the NHL, but few European players end up playing in the NCAA. Hagelin, however, played four years for the University of Michigan becoming the first Swedish player to play for the Wolverines.

While there, he was coached by former NHL great Red Berenson. In his 17-year NHL career, Berenson played for the Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues and Detroit Red Wings and was the captain in St. Louis and Detroit. Berenson’s coaching career began in the NHL where he won the Jack Adams Award as the coach of the year in 1981, but he returned to his alma mater Michigan in 1984 as the head coach. He coached the Wolverines for 33 seasons including all four of Hagelin’s years there.

Hagelin played for Michigan from 2007 through 2011 and was the captain in his senior year. In his final year he helped lead the Wolverines all the way to the National Championship game, but Michigan fell just short in a 3-2 loss to Minnesota-Duluth.

The Caps are Hagelin’s fifth NHL team and this is his fourth trade

Hagelin was drafted in 2007 by the New York Rangers before going to college in Ann Arbor. After four strong seasons, Hagelin was set to become a restricted free agent, but was traded to the Anaheim Ducks in 2015 and signed a four-year deal. After 43 tough games with the Ducks, he was traded back to the East coast to the Pittsburgh Penguins in January 2016. He helped the Penguins win two Stanley Cups, but was traded to the Kings in November 2018. On the last year of his deal and playing on a struggling team, it was widely expected that Hagelin would likely be on the move again before the end of the season and on Thursday, that proved to be correct.

On Saturday, Hagelin will suit up for the fifth team of his NHL career when he plays for the Caps.

Hagelin made his NHL debut against the Caps

Washington fans developed a healthy dislike for Hagelin over the years because he always seemed to have big milestones against Washington.

After his college career ended, Hagelin signed a professional contract with the Rangers. He started the 2011-12 season in the AHL, but made his NHL debut on Nov. 25 against…the Capitals. He recorded his first NHL point in that game, an assist to Brian Boyle on what would prove to be the game-winning goal.

In an ironic twist, Hagelin’s last game with the Kings also came against Washington when the Caps visited Los Angeles on Monday.

Hagelin has a lot of playoff experience against Washington

Hagelin has played in 121 career playoff games and there is no team he has played more than the Capitals. Washington has faced Hagelin in 35 playoff games where he scored 15 points including one game-winning goal. In his entire playoff career, Hagelin recorded seven multi-point performances. Four of them came against the Caps.

The Penguins are paying for Hagelin to play for Washington

Given the pettiness of rivalries, Caps fans will enjoy knowing that while he is playing for Washington, Pittsburgh is paying part of his paycheck.

In the original trade that sent Hagelin to Los Angeles, the Penguins retained 6.25-percent of his salary as part of the deal. The Kings also retained 50-percent of his remaining salary in the trade with Washington so the Caps are only paying for about 47-percent of his salary.

The Caps will play Pittsburgh one more time in the regular season and could meet once again in the postseason. For every point Hagelin scores against them, Washington fans can take great pleasure knowing the Penguins paid for it, at least a little bit.

The Penguins saw him as more than just a depth player

Hagelin may have played a bottom-six role in Pittsburgh, but he was considered vitally important to the Penguins’ consecutive Cup runs in 2016 and 2017. Hagelin was the “H” in the infamous HBK line that gave Washington fits in the 2016 playoff series. He also scored the empty-netter in Game 6 against the Nashville Predators to seal the Cup.

When Hagelin was traded to Los Angeles in November, you could tell he was more than just a third-line player in that locker room.

The Caps know they are getting a very fast forward who can contribute on the penalty kill. The unknown when it comes to deadline moves is what kind of a locker room person a player is and how he will mesh with his new teammates. Given what his Pittsburgh teammates thought about him, that likely will not be an issue for Hagelin. If he can also prove as important to the Caps as he proved to be to the Penguins’ playoff runs, this is going to be an absolute steal of a trade for Washington.


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Capitals make lineup changes after Game 3 debacle

Capitals make lineup changes after Game 3 debacle

RALEIGH — Adjustments are the name of the game in the Stanley Cup playoffs. After a 5-0 drubbing by the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday, the Capitals need to make a few. 

Washington coach Todd Reirden has made some tweaks to his lineup with Game 4 approaching on Thursday. The Capitals are still in front with a 2-1 series lead, but they know that can change quickly with another performance like Monday’s. 

Reirden shifted his forward lines around at practice on Wednesday at PNC Arena. T.J. Oshie moves up to the top line to play with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom while Tom Wilson drops to the second line to play with Evgeny Kuznetsov and Jakub Vrana. 

Oshie was critical of his own play, but he does have a goal in this series and this seems like a move more to help Kuznetsov and Vrana get more space with Wilson on their line. Shots have been hard to come by in the series for Washington. Kuznetsov does have three assists, but Vrana doesn’t yet have a point. 

“Playoffs you kind of make adjustments and there’s pushbacks from both teams depending on how the last game went – or even the last period went,” Oshie said. “And they won the Game 3 pushback. Game 4 momentum is on their side, we have to get it back, play physical, play strong, play for each other, block shots, be better.”

So while Reirden flipped his top two right wings, he also flipped his bottom two left wings. Carl Hagelin will play on a revamped fourth line with Nic Dowd and Travis Boyd. Andre Burakovsky moves up to play with Lars Eller and Brett Connolly. The bottom six forwards have just one point in the series – Eller’s empty-net goal in Game 1. 

Depth scoring was so critical for Washington in its run to the Stanley Cup last spring. Hagelin kills penalties, but this move only makes sense if they’re trying to add to that depth scoring and get the fourth line more ice time. Boyd joins the lineup for the first time this series and is more skilled offensively than Chandler Stephenson, the man he replaces. That theoretically should make it harder for Carolina to match lines the way it wants to.
“You need to forget about it, but also realize what went on,” Wilson said. “I think as a group our compete and our effort just wasn’t what it needed to be. So you have to use that. You can’t just think it’s all good.”

The blueline had just one change. Rookie Jonas Siegenthaler will make his playoff debut in place of Christian Djoos, who has been on the ice for four of Carolina’s 10 goals. Siegenthaler’s size and poise under pressure could help there. Djoos is just 170 pounds and has been targeted by Carolina in his limited ice time. But he can always skate the puck out of trouble and that’s a question mark with Siegenthaler, who played 26 games in the NHL this season. 

“I felt like we wanted the game to come a little easier to us and they ramped up their game,” Oshie said. “You could tell with not only the score, but the shots and how the play went. We’ve got to be better and we will.” 


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D.C. Good Samaritan Tom Wilson nominated for King Clancy Trophy

D.C. Good Samaritan Tom Wilson nominated for King Clancy Trophy

Tom Wilson has been formally recognized for all his good deeds. 

The Capitals right-winger was nominated for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy by the Capitals organization for his involvement with Forty Three’s Friends, So Kids Can, Top Shelf Teammates as well as other initiatives, some of which he launched himself, according to the Capitals' website.

“He’s always one of the first in line to do stuff for charity,” said Capitals head coach Todd Reirden at a press conference on Wednesday. “Charity projects, started his own program this last year, just always willing to give back.” 

This season, Wilson started So Kids Can, in which he donated four tickets per game to Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic children across 20 games. Wilson took the recipients in the Capitals locker room following each game for one-on-one interactions. 

Nicklas Backstrom and Braden Holtby participate with Wilson in So Kids Can, in which each athlete donates $50 (during the regular season) and $100 (during the playoffs) per win to a local nonprofit organization. 

This season, the group has been raising money for Heart of America, partnering with Hendley Elementary School to supply them with 75 laptops and 45 tablets. The players surprised the school in November by announcing that Hendley was the recipient of a So Kids Can and Heart of American Foundation makeover.

Since the 2013-14 season, Wilson has been a part of Top Shelf Teammates. Through this, he donated $10,000 to the Fort DuPont Ice Hockey Club. 

Three finalists will be announced on April 23, and the winner will be announced at the 2019 NHL Awards on June 19. The winner will receive $40,000 to benefit a charities of the winner’s choice, and two runners-up will each receive $5,000 to donate.

All nominees are nominated by their clubs, and the winner will be selected by a committee of senior NHL executives, led by Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, according to the NHL's website

The selection committee will chose their winner and subsequent finalists by examining the following criteria:

  • Clear and measurable positive impact on the community
  • Investment of time and resources
  • Commitment to a particular cause or community
  • Commitment to the League's community initiatives (Hockey is for Everyone, Hockey Fights Cancer, Future Goals, Learn to Play, NHL Green, etc.)
  • Creativity of programming
  • Use of influence; engagement of others

The last Capital to win the award was Olaf Kolzig for the 2005-06 season. The former goaltender co-founded Athletes Against Autism after learning that his son, Carson, was autistic. Additionally, he worked closely with the Children’s Medical Center after coming to D.C. in the late 1990s, purchasing season tickets to give to hospital patients and allowing them to be his special guests at games. He raised over $650,000 through multiple charity endeavors, all contributing to his receipt of the Memorial Award. 

Kolzig is the only Capital to have won the Memorial Award, putting Wilson in the position to be the second.