Carl Hagelin: “I Did Everything I Could To Come Back And I Feel At Peace That Way”

Washington Capitals forward Carl Hagelin suffered what turned out to be a very serious eye injury at the end of an otherwise nondescript practice in March of 2022. Little did anyone know at the time, the injury would spell the end of Hagelin’s NHL career.

In addition to the serious eye injury and two subsequent surgeries, the Swedish winger also underwent hip re-surfacing surgery last year. In the end, the combination of the setbacks was too much for Hagelin to overcome, as he announced his retirement on Wednesday.

“It’s sad, of course, but I know in any case that I did everything I could to come back and I feel at peace that way,” said the two-time Stanley Cup champion.

“I trained with the other NHL players in Segeltorp outside Stockholm during the summer and when I pushed and pushed myself really hard, it became clear that, well, it’s not going to last,” Hagelin told Sportbladet after a final visit to the eye doctor in the U.S.

“It just feels strange out on the ice. It’s not possible. And the eyes in particular are not something you take lightly, I don’t want to risk anything,” said Hagelin.

“I really wanted to play on. But after all, I’m not completely unprepared, I didn’t play the whole of last season and knew it could be like this.” Hagelin added, “It would certainly have been worse if it had happened yesterday and I had been forced to leave today.”

In the end, Hagelin is at peace with his decision, as he feels he did everything he could to return to the game he loves.

“I know that I did everything I could to come back and I am satisfied that way.”

Carl and his family – which includes wife Erica as well as daughter Blanche and son Tage – will be moving home to Sweden.

“We will see what happens, but we will settle in the Stockholm area and I definitely want to continue working in hockey.”

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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4 Responses to Carl Hagelin: “I Did Everything I Could To Come Back And I Feel At Peace That Way”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Caps need to have him back for a ceremonial puck drop

  2. Diane Doyle says:

    What a sad ending for Hags. Wish him good luck in the next chapter of his life.

  3. Ashley says:

    Man whoever did that to him must and should feel like a sack of sh!t. End a career due to negligence. He’ll be happier back home. Sweden is much nicer than the crappy US

  4. Grace Miller says:

    Love you Hags! The HBK line was the best ever! All the best to you and your family!❤️🐧

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