Carl Hagelin shares details on his 'life changing' eye injury

Published May 17, 2022 at 11:33

Carl Hagelin met with media for the Washington Capitals' end of year press availability. Hagelin shared that the choroid in his left eye ruptured during freak accident in practice when a stick hit him "right in the eyeball." Hagelin is still working his way back after 2 surgeries, and he knows vision will never be 100% but optimistic about playing hockey again.

Right when it happened, it sounded like it might have to almost get in and remove the eye. First week or so was definitely a frustrating week. It was tough but things have obviously gotten better since then. Now I can see a little bit with the eye. I'm in a better spot now than I was then.

Hagelin said Marc Staal has been a big help with the whole thing.

So I played with Marc Staal in New York. He's been a great resource through all of this. Every time after I talk to him, it's been great for the mental aspect of it. It's always put me in a good mood and it's always been positive. He said it too, it's all about patience, it takes time. At the end of the day, you have that one good eye that's gonna carry you.

Marc Staal injured his right eye when he he was struck by Jakub Voracek's deflection of a Kimmo Timonen slap shot at the Garden on March 5, 2013.

When I was first coming back and a puck hopped over my stick, I'd misread it [and think], ‘What would I have done different if I had two healthy eyes? It took a while to get that out of my mind and just react and play.

Now, it's an afterthought.

In his fourth season with the Caps, Hagelin had 14 points in 53 games. The 33 year old mostly played fourth line minutes with Nic Dowd and Garnet Hatahway. The trio regularly skated the toughest minutes in the most defensive situations. In over 340 of those minutes at five-on-five, they returned a splendid 54-percent shot attempts for percentage, 51.9-percent expected goals-for percentage, 52.5-percent scoring chance for percentage, and 56.4-percent high danger chance for percentage.

It's the most pain I've ever been through because the stick hit me right in the eyeball. It wasn't any bones around it that really took any of the impact. It was scary, those first two weeks were some of the toughest in my life, especially early on when you can't see anything with the eye, it's just total darkness. But now you're over the hump and I've always said to myself I've been a positive person, an optimistic person and I need to stay that way. Keep pushing for next season.

Hagelin is signed through the 2022-2023 at a cap hit of $2,750.000.
May 17   |   195 answers
Carl Hagelin shares details on his 'life changing' eye injury

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