Beloved former Ranger Carl Hagelin retired yesterday due to injury, the winger stated in an Instagram post. Hagelin spent four full seasons with the Rangers, his first four in the NHL, after being selected by the Blueshirts in the 6th round of the 2007 draft. The Rangers found themselves a sleeper who helped propel them to two straight Eastern Conference Finals and one Stanley Cup Final.
It felt like Hagelin played more than four years with the Rangers, that’s how big of an impact he had on the team. He was the first Rangers “everyman,” playing up and down the lineup and doing it effectively. He is the one that set the table for Jesper Fast. Hagelin, to me, was also the first beloved Ranger of the new era –non-Lundqvist division– as I can’t remember anyone say anything negative about him.
In Hagelin’s four seasons in New York, he put up a line of 58-72-130 in 266 regular season games. It was the playoffs where the middle-six winger thrived though. His stat line may not show it (12-14-26 in 73 games), but Hagelin scored so many key goals for the Blueshirts in the playoffs, including an OT series winner against the Penguins in 2015.
His time in New York was cut frustratingly short when he was a cap casualty in the 2015 offseason, being sent to Anaheim for a swap of 2nd round picks (Ryan Gropp) and Emersen Etem. Although Glen Sather was the official GM of the Rangers at the time, the Hagelin trade was likely Jeff Gorton’s first trade as GM, since Sather stepped down a week after that draft. Boy was it was an atrocious one.
Hagelin retires as a Rangers fan favorite, even if he went on to win two Stanley Cups with the Penguins the two seasons immediately following the trade.