Hagelin has yet to play a game this season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum last June. He is one of three top six forwards the Rangers have been without for an extended amount of time. There has been no news on Rick Nash‘s concussion which is bad news, and Ryan Callahan is still expected to miss a couple of weeks with his broken thumb. But Hagelin’s return could be just what the doctor ordered for this struggling Rangers offense.
The Rangers just need a spark to get their offense going. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a goal by Hagelin that gets them going, but his speed alone is going to create a boatload of scoring chances for himself and his teammates. He is arguably the fastest player in the league and apparently has been flying around during practices just itching to get back onto the ice. Hagelin is also an excellent penalty killer which is something that the Rangers are also missing with Callahan out of the mix. No one knows who Hagelin is going to play with, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a line with Derek Stepan and possibly Brad Richards.
There is no doubt Hagelin is one of the Rangers’ best and most underrated players. Fans all over should be very excited that we get to see him return. It certainly helps that the adrenaline will be flowing in a big rivalry game against the Islanders.