The Washington Capitals started their offseason signings with Carl Hagelin, inking the speedy Swede to a four-year $11 million deal. After spending time in Pittsburgh and LA early on last season, Hagelin was dealt to Washington where he put up 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in 20 games. Hagelin has never been a big point producer, with his career high being 39 points in the 2015-16 season, his value lies in the grittier areas of the game. Hagelin has above-average speed, adequate defensive skill and desirable penalty killing ability that has been the notable hallmark of his entire career. He is a solid bottom six forward, who can slot into a second line role if needed, and gives 100% every time he is on the ice.
Washington’s Cap Situation
After this signing, Washington now sits with roughly $10.7 million in cap space. They have to make some tough decisions on what to do with their five RFA’s (Jakub Vrana, André Burakovsky, Dmitrij Jaskin, Chandler Stephenson and Christian Djoos) and 3 vacating UFA’s (Brett Connolly, Devante Smith-Pelly and Brooks Orpik). I’m reasonably sure that three RFA’s can be re-signed at a team-friendly rate, and they should absolutely try to get Connolly signed to a new deal. They don’t have the luxury of having a lot of NHL-ready talent in their prospect pool, so they will have to get crafty with the moves and signings they can get done.
Considering the Capitals’ cap situation and current team structure, I think this deal needed to be made. I think it came at a reasonable cost with their limited cap space. Hagelin will be a good option for the team, and his value to the team will far exceed what his contract requires.