Carl Hagelin Forced to Retire From Hockey Due to Stick to Face: ‘My Eye Injury is Too Severe’

The two-time Stanley Cup champion missed the entire 2022–2023 season

<p>Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty</p> Washington Capitals left wing Carl Hagelin is retiring from the NHL.

Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty

Washington Capitals left wing Carl Hagelin is retiring from the NHL.

Swedish hockey player Carl Hagelin's career in the NHL is coming to an end following a "severe" eye injury.

After 12 years in the league, the left winger, 35, announced his retirement from the sport in a post to Instagram Aug. 30, having missed the entire 2022–2023 season due to the injury, according to multiple reports.

"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 began in the post, referencing the injury he suffered in March 2022 when he took a hockey stick to his left eye.

<p>AP Photo/Nick Wass</p> Carl Hagelin

AP Photo/Nick Wass

Carl Hagelin

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

He continued that he was going to miss "going to battle w my teammates on a daily basis" and "the ups and downs of a season."

"Nothing excites me more than stepping on the ice in front of 20,000 passionate fans," he added.

On March 1, 2022, Hagelin was struck in his left eye by an errant hockey stick during routine practice with his team the Capitals, and has not played since, reports ESPN.

The injury caused a rupture to his left choroid, which is the part of the eye located between the sclera, or whites of the eye, and the retina, the layer of cells lining the internal wall at the back of the eye, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

In May 2022, following two surgeries to correct his eye, Hagelin remained "optimistic," telling reporters that his eye "is healing," per reporter Tom Gulitti.

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"I'm doing everything I can to be back [on the ice] next year," he told reporters, per Nova Caps Fans, noting that doctors felt they may have had to "remove the eye" at first. "I've done two procedures so far and the second one was about almost a month ago."

Despite admitting at the time he had ongoing issues with depth perception and being able to focus his vision, Hagelin told reporters last year he remained "optimistic that I'm gonna come back next year."

In the Instagram post on Wednesday, Hagelin, who shares two children with his wife, Erica Uebel, thanked his "amazing teammates, coaches, Doctors and other staff members" whom he had met and played with throughout his career.

<p>Carl Hagelin/ Instagram</p> Carl Hagelin and his wife, Erica Uebel

Carl Hagelin/ Instagram

Carl Hagelin and his wife, Erica Uebel

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"Lastly," he signed off his message, "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❤️."

After playing professional hockey in Sweden, Hagelin played college hockey at the University of Michigan. The New York Rangers drafted him in 2007, and he made his NHL debut in 2011.

During his career in the U.S. he also played for the Anaheim Ducks, Pittsburgh Penguins, Los Angeles Kings and Washington Capitals. He won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2016 and 2017. Internationally, he won the silver medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi as a member of the Swedish national team.

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