Photo: Washington Post
Washington Capitals forward Carl Hagelin told reporters that he is open to signing a contract extension with the team, who he thought was a good fit for him. Hagelin, 30, can become an unrestricted free agent July 1. The Capitals acquired him from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a 2019 third-round draft pick and a conditional 2020 sixth-round draft pick, which will not be part of the trade since the Capitals will not go past the Second Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, before the NHL Trade Deadline on February 21.
“It was a really good fit for me [in Washington]. It felt comfortable here. It was fun. We had some good success.,” Hagelin said of possibly signing a contract with the Capitals in the offseason.
He thought that the Capitals had the pieces in place to make a deep run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs but they did not find the formula to find success at this time of year, saying “I think we had what it takes to go on a deep playoff run … but it felt like we didn’t find that next level you need in the playoffs to be successful.”
After playing on the Capitals, Kings, and Pittsburgh Penguins this season, Hagelin said “At points, it seemed like I was employed by the NHL and not by a specific team.,” of the experience.
Hagelin told reporters that the early exit in the Stanley Cup Playoffs “is a tough one.,” since he made it past the Second Round in each of his first seven NHL seasons with the Penguins and New York Rangers.
Hagelin said that he does not expect to play in the IIHF World Championship to avoid risking an injury since he doesn’t have a contract for next year.
“I felt we had our chances to put them down. In Game 7, we were up by two goals twice and those are moments you have to cherish and make the most of and not let the other team in.,” Hagelin said of blowing 2-0 and 3-1 leads in Game 7 against the Carolina Hurricanes.
On Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, Hagelin said “the way he was able to complete seven games straight …he was unbelievable all seven games. He was a true leader.”
He told reporters that “It was nice to be on his side. you can see how he just controls the game….he sees what’s going to happen before it happens.,” referring to center Nicklas Backstrom, a fellow Swede.
Regarding center Evgeny Kuznetsov, who he skated with to end the Stanley Cup Playoffs with forward T.J. Oshie out due to a broken collarbone, Hagelin said “He’s a great player. He’s a great centerman. …He’s so efficient out there [with his skating].”
By Harrison Brown