Carl Hagelin is a Washington Capital

Sweden vs Team Europe, Verizon Center, September 2016

Hockey is weird. I know this isn’t news but: hockey is weird. The regular season is 82 games long and the post-season exists outside time. Hockey seasons are like dog years. I haven’t been following ice hockey for long (between five and six years) but I have aged significantly in that time. I am Rose at the end of Titanic. It’s been eighty-four years. It must be all the icings.

There are other things, as well, when you’ve been raised on other sports that you notice about hockey. The first-listed team is not the home team. There is a constant turnover of players during every game that’s positively dizzying until you’re used to it. And there’s the matter of learning how to follow the puck.

The goals are tiny and the goalies are massive, so you wonder how goals are ever scored. The puck is tiny too, though, so you wonder how goals are ever saved.

And then, if you insist on watching NHL games live. Well. They usually start sometime after midnight (GMT) so any emotions you feel are invariably heightened by sleep deprivation and over caffeination. (This is your mind. This is your mind on playoff hockey).

Finally, and most pressingly, there’s the trade deadline, which is this Monday (February 25). This is the point after which there can be no more trades this season. This is the point at which teams decide if they are buyers (and, therefore, contenders) or sellers (and, therefore, tyre fires rebuilders).

The Washington Capitals are, for want of a better word, fidgeters. They’ve made some minor changes so far this week but the most intriguing addition for me is that of Carl Hagelin. Noted Cap-Killer, Carl Hagelin. Very handsome former New York Ranger and Pittsburgh Penguin, Carl Hagelin.

To give some context, it’s like Arsenal’s Thierry Henry was traded to Spurs, after a brief sojourn with Barcelona. “But, Lindsey,” you say, “Hagelin was a Penguin for less than two seasons and Thierry Henry is an Arsenal legend who has a statue outside the Emirates Stadium.”

You’re right, of course. Titi is a legend. However, Carl Hagelin’s two seasons with the Penguins resulted in back-to-back Stanley Cups. I’ll remind you of the part where hockey seasons are like dog years. I’ll remind you that playoffs take it out of a mind and a body (and that’s just mine). I’ll remind you that the night is dark and full of terrors. Hagelin has very much been the enemy, with great success at the expense of my team.

And, now, here we are, facing down the trade deadline, and it’s a hop, skip and a jump the home straight to the post-season, and Carl Hagelin is a Washington Capital.

And, you know what? I’m okay with it.

3 thoughts on “Carl Hagelin is a Washington Capital

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