Washington acquired Hagelin, who turns 31 in August, from the Los Angeles Kings on Feb. 21, and the Capitals quickly became enamored with his versatility, from playing on the penalty kill to his ability to slot in anywhere in the lineup with his speed and aggressive forechecking. The Capitals were familiar with Hagelin after years of contending against him in the Metropolitan Division; Hagelin spent the first four years of his NHL career with the New York Rangers before twice winning the Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
This was a relative down year for Hagelin offensively — he had a sprained knee earlier in the season — but he and the Capitals seemed to be a good fit. After he had two goals and six assists in the first 38 games of the season with Pittsburgh and Los Angeles, he tallied three goals and eight assists in 20 regular season games with Washington. He had one assist in seven playoff games.
“We are pleased to have signed Carl to a new four year contract,” General Manager Brian MacLellan said in a statement. “Carl is a versatile player who can play on any line and is an excellent penalty killer. He is a proven winner and provides great leadership to our team.”
Next season’s salary cap has been projected to be between $82 million and $83 million, and with Hagelin’s extension, the Capitals have roughly $10 million left to pay for four forwards and one defenseman, according to CapFriendly.com. On the team’s to-do list is re-signing 23-year-old restricted free agent Jakub Vrana, who is coming off a career year with 24 goals and 23 assists. Washington also has interest in extending unrestricted free agent Brett Connolly; the 27-year-old forward had 22 goals and 24 assists last season.