Forward Carl Hagelin spoke to the media during Washington Capitals Media Day on the eve of training camp. He discussed his goals for the season, offseason, last year, and more.
Hagelin, 31, told the media that he is well-rested and it felt good to start the season knowing that he won’t get traded after getting dealt twice last season. He thought that it was beneficial for him to get in town two weeks prior to camp to skate with his teammates.
Hagelin said that he felt there is a “Lot of pressure on ourselves to be to play well every single night” and he has to play more consistently but doesn’t think that he’ll do anything differently this year. He also stated that “this team has a good mix” of young and veteran guys.
Hagelin thinks that the Capitals have to go into the season with a mindset to improve every single week and wants the team to play better defensively than they did last season. “Got to do everything we can to keep to puck out of our net,” he said.
Hagelin’s goal for the season is to earn a bigger role but acknowledged that that’s not only up to head coach Todd Reirden and his staff but also himself to play well.
While some have speculated that Hagelin is better suited for the Eastern Conference than the Western Conference as he has been dealt twice from West coast teams, he downplayed that replying “hard to say” when asked. Though, he did acknowledge that “I like it on the East coast.”
Hagelin said that last year was “a lot” after getting traded twice and missing time due to a knee injury in the middle of the season. “I kind of knew that when I got to L.A., [we] were not going to be a [Stanley Cup] Playoff team and I was fortunate to land here. What I was able to do here was the reason I [re-signed],” he stated.
After playing against the Capitals six times in the Stanley Cup Playoffs as a member of the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins, Hagelin has had plenty of close-ups on captain Alex Ovechkin and got more appreciation from watching him in practice last year. He described the Great Eight as “a different [kind of] talent.”
“A guy like that doesn’t come [around] very often. He’s one of those energetic guys at 34 years old [on Tuesday]. He comes to the rink smiling every day and does what he has to to be here.,” he continued.
Hagelin stated that he is healthy and good to go for the first day of on-ice workouts on Friday. He added that he wants to push the pace starting tomorrow and get to a different intensity level as he knows that each day will get harder and harder.
When asked if he’s motivated for this season, Hagelin replied “For sure. [How last year ended] should be fuel for this year.”
Hagelin said that he paid attention to moves around the Metropolitan Division this summer as teams such as the Rangers and New Jersey Devils made significant roster upgrades after missing the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, “but that’s not something that we need to focus on. We have a good team here. We think that we got better this summer.”
“It’s all business this year. We’re up to the challenge.,” Hagelin ended his interview with, adding that the goal is to go far in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
By Harrison Brown