Concern for Caps' Hagelin, now out indefinitely with eye injury


Capitals forward Carl Hagelin underwent surgery on his left eye Tuesday for what general manager Brian MacLellan described as a "serious eye injury." The injury happened at practice earlier that day when a stick caught him in the eye and he had to be helped off the ice.

MacLellan said Wednesday that the next steps were still to be determined, but the team announced Sunday that Hagelin would be out indefinitely. The injury is significant enough that there is real concern for Hagelin that goes well beyond just his availability on the ice.

"The vision part is the biggest concern," MacLellan said. "We were really worried [Tuesday] night. I don't know, it's sort of positive news that the examination went in the right direction. But it's still to be determined on what the next steps are and what effect it'll have on him."

Given the severity of the injury, the hockey concerns are very much secondary to the health of the player. However, the on-ice loss of Hagelin cannot be ignored by a Capitals team that is just 10-12-2 in 2022.

Hagelin's line with Nic Dowd and Garnet Hathaway has been consistently one of the team's best lines throughout its current struggles. Hagelin's loss will also be felt on the penalty kill.

"Obviously he's a big part of our PK," MacLellan said. "He's our No. 1 PK guy. He's one of the better PKers in the league. That fourth line's been phenomenal for us over the last couple years and he's a big part of it. They play against top lines, they start in our own end and they do a good job, so we're going to miss him."