The Washington Capitals announced on Sunday that they had re-signed forward Carl Hagelin to a four-year, $11 million contract extension. Hagelin participated in a media teleconference on Monday afternoon to discuss the signing.
(On free agency)
"It's a good feeling today to know that I'm going to be a part of the Washington Capitals for that time. It's a credit to the organization and Mac and the coaching staff and obviously all the players. I think when I got traded to Washington, I didn't know really what to expect and then those 30 games I was able to play there and it gave me a better understanding of how good of a team it is and how much fun it is to play for the Caps. After the season left a bitter taste, obviously not making it that far as we wanted in the playoffs. But after my exit meetings, I told him I wanted to stay, if we can find something. I knew that there were some cap issues, so I don't ever think I thought about going into free agency, but I knew there was a possibility if we can figure it out. But like I said, I'm just extremely happy to have signed the deal and me and my family look forward to the upcoming season."
"Well I was always hoping we would be able to get a deal done. Ultimately it's kind of between me, my agent and Mac. I didn't have too much conversations with my agent to be honest. I was traveling around the U.S. a little bit and then I went back home to Sweden where I am right now. And then things happened pretty quick there, I was really happy. Like I said before, I was hoping for a longer term to maybe bring down my cap hit down a little bit if I was able to get four years. So again, I'm extremely happy that I'm able to be a part of this organization."
(On his comfort in Washington)
"Well, I think when you sign a deal that's four years long, there's a lot of aspects that need to do to be to your liking. And I think for me it starts with what kind of team do you have? And you look at the team, the best players are the veteran players that have been there for awhile. They're the leaders. And if you look in today's NHL a lot of people are talking about the young guys, but the teams that win in the playoffs are the guys with great leadership and good veteran players that have been there before and know, understand the grind. So I think that's what it starts with. And then just the way you get treated as a player, it's first class, whether that's the way you travel, the nutrition you get at the rink and just how you're getting taken care of. And that's, for me, being around seeing different organizations, you understand how important that is over a hundred games in a season and so on. All those things. And the fact that I was put in a situation to succeed. They know my strengths and they play me with good players and it helps to have success that way. And you just look around all the centers, doesn't really matter what line you play on. You can have a good chance of being successful."
(On the Radko Gudas trade)
"Yeah, I mean he's a player I played against a lot since I got in the league and you're always aware when he's on the ice. He's really strong on his skates. He plays a physical game. He's definitely not fun to play against. It's good to have to have him on your side. I feel a lot of times when I played against him he scored some big goals, so hopefully he continues to score some goals here."
(On the Caps championship potential)
"I wouldn't have signed with Washington if I didn't believe there's still a good chance to win the Stanley Cup. Like I said before, it starts with having Ovi, having Backy as you know, and having John Carlson as players that had been been in the league for a long time, knowing what it takes to win and just great leadership and those are our best players in the playoffs last year and they're going to continue to be that. And I think that's what I liked about the team. It's a good mix of veteran guys, young guys, guys that arent that young, but have been in the league for a while and understand the business. I stayed with Washington to have a chance to win. I've been fortunate to be in the playoffs every year since I got into the league and I've been to five conference finals, and three Stanley Cup finals. That's what you love, being in those situations. And every time around this time of year you watch all these other teams play in the playoffs and play in the finals and it pisses you off a little bit. So that's where I want to get back to. If I didn't think the Caps had a chance to play in the finals and win the Stanley Cup, I wouldn't have signed with them."
Click here for the full audio of the Carl Hagelin teleconference.