Carl Hagelin announces retirement from NHL due to 'severe' eye injury

The longtime NHL forward and two-time Stanley Cup champ took to Instagram to announce his retirement on Wednesday.

Hagelin had some memorable seasons with the Rangers, Penguins and Capitals. (Photo by Christopher Mast/NHLI via Getty Images)

Longtime NHL forward Carl Hagelin took to social media to announce his retirement on Wednesday.

The veteran winger, who posted some memorable seasons and playoff runs with the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals, cited an eye injury as his primary reason for hanging them up.

"It’s been an amazing ride but it ends here. Unfortunately my eye injury is too severe to keep playing the game I love," he wrote.

"I’m extremely grateful for all the memories hockey has given me and I’ve loved every single day of it."

The 35-year-old went on to thank past teammates, doctors, coaches and staff while expressing gratitude for the game and lamenting the moments he'll miss the most:

I’m gonna miss going to battle w my teammates on a daily basis, I’m gonna miss the ups and downs of a season. Nothing excites me more than stepping on the ice in front of 20,000 passionate fans.

I want to thank all my amazing teammates, coaches, Doctors and other staff members that I’ve met and played with throughout the years.

Lastly, I want to thank my family, my wife and my kids for all their support. They made it possible for me to live out my dream.

Thank You

Hagelin suffered the career-ending injury during a March 1, 2022 practice as a member of the Capitals — undergoing two immediate surgeries to save his left eye. An errant stick went through Hagelin’s visor and tore through the back of his eye. He would also undergo two additional hip surgeries throughout the past year which complicated a potential return.

Hagelin, a veteran of 713 NHL games, is perhaps best known for winning the Stanley Cup in consecutive seasons with the Penguins along with strong showings in the 2016 and 2017 playoffs. He recorded 110 goals and 296 points in stints with the Pens, Rangers, Ducks, Kings and Capitals.

His counting stats won’t blow anyone away, but Hagelin was one of the fastest players of his era and though he was a diminutive presence on the ice, his elite acceleration and tenacity made him an asset on several contending playoff teams.

Hagelin played 141 postseason contests — 128 games during the 2010s — recording 22 goals and 50 points. It’s often cliche, but Hagelin truly found a way to elevate his game during the postseason and it was a central reason for his lengthy career.

Selected 168th overall in the 2007 NHL Draft by the Rangers, Hagelin was a star at the University of Michigan prior to his professional debut, where he was lauded for his scoring prowess and defensive impact.

Hagelin also won a silver medal with Sweden at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.