Carl Hagelin’s top 3 moments with New York Rangers
Carl Hagelin was one of the good ones.
The Swedish winger, who spent four seasons with the New York Rangers, announced his retirement from the NHL on Wednesday due to an eye injury that had sidelined him for more than a year.
The Rangers drafted Hagelin in the sixth-round of the 2007 NHL Draft and he turned out to be one of the squad’s top forwards on the left-side during his 2011-2015 Blueshirt stint.
Traded in June 2015 to Anaheim, nobody has quite replicated Hagelin’s flair and swagger on Broadway since his departure. His distinct speed and style made him nearly unstoppable on the breakaway and propelled the team in big moments.
In classic Rangers style, Hagelin showed New York what it was missing after the team failed to lock him down and he went on to win back-to-back Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016 and 2017.
With a stop in Los Angeles before landing on the Washington Capitals for the last four years of his pro career, Hagelin’s curtain call comes after 11 seasons in the league and a total 296 points (110 goals, 186 assists) in 713 regular-season games.
You hate to see a guy go out because of injury –– on top of the left eye issue, Hagelin also underwent two hip surgeries and spent all of last season on long-term injured reserve –– but “Swagelin” no doubt made his mark while an active player.
Let’s take a look at Hagelin’s top three moments as a Ranger, below.
2015 first-round overtime goal to secure series win over Pittsburgh Penguins
There are few things more satisfying than beating the Penguins on Garden ice, especially in a series-clinching playoff game. Hagelin sent Pittsburgh packing in Game 5 of the 2015 playoffs’ first-round with a wrap-around overtime goal.
Dominic Moore worked the puck downlow in the corner with two Penguins on him when the rubber popped out and Hagelin scooped it up behind the net. Circling around to the right face-off dot, Hagelin released a snap-shot while falling to the ice, creating a dogpile celebration once the puck soared past Marc-Andre Fleury.
The Rangers are never known as the team to put a series away quickly, but Hagelin handedly changed the narrative with the Game 5 victory against a divisional rival. The forward always seemed to rise to the occasion, and that specific postseason goal will remain on the highlight reel for quite some time.
2014 shorthanded goal against the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference Final
When the Rangers needed a boost of energy, Hagelin was sure to provide it. His sparky speed created open-ice opportunities where he was strides ahead of the opponent. In Game 4 of the 2014 Eastern Conference Final against the Canadiens, Hagelin saw a shorthanded opportunity and Brian Boyle nearly read his mind on the outlet pass down center ice.
Hagelin collected the puck near the blueline heading full speed towards the net, flipped to his back-hand and swiftly tucked one past Dustin Tokarski for a 1-0 lead in the first period. He snatched the momentum away from the Habs, and came up big in overtime time too.
Martin St. Louis’ unforgettable OT top-shelf snipe put the Rangers up 3-1 in the series, and was set up by Hagelin who dished it across the zone to St. Louis low on the right side. I still remember thinking MSG was going to explode after that play, beers flying in the air while strangers exchanged emphatic hugs and high-fives.
2013 first-round goal blasted home against the Washington Capitals
Hagelin’s game was much benefited by his confidence. The guy was not afraid to shoot, and when in the right position, knew it had a high chance of going in. This absolute rocket came in Game 4 of the 2013 first-round against the Capitals when the Rangers were down 2-1 in the series –– making it an unofficial must-win contest.
After shutting down a Washington chance on the other end of the ice, the Rangers started the rush the other way. Derrick Brassard had the puck on the right end of the blue line and swung it over to Hagelin near the left face-off dot who momentarily settled the puck before hammering it over Braden Holtby’s left shoulder and in.
Hagelin’s no-hesitation play doubled the Rangers’ advantage to 2-0 with just under 10 minutes remaining in the second period. The Blueshirts ultimately won the game 4-3 and later, the series in seven games.
Perhaps it’s too extreme to call Hagelin a Ranger great, but the youngster at-the-time showed up every night with his heart on his sleeve and produced the way the team needed him to. Haggy had an NHL career kids dream of, and it was built upon his own making.