The Washington Capitals have placed long-time forward Brooks Laich on waivers.
Laich, who was acquired by Washington from the Ottawa Senators in 2004 as part of a trade for forward Peter Bondra, has just one goal in 59 games played this season. He’s averaged just 10:34 of ice-time. Laich has played a total of 741 career games with the Capitals, eighth-most in team history.
According to General Fanager, if the 32-year-old Laich isn’t claimed, burying him will save the Capitals $950,000 of salary cap space. He has one season left on a six-year $27 million deal. If Laich goes to the AHL, the Caps will have $926,458 of salary cap space at Monday’s trade deadline according to General Fanager.
Laich still had carved a lower-line role this year, ranking second Caps forwards in shorthanded ice-time per-game with 2:05.
“It has been an adjustment of a role,” Laich told the Washington Post. “But sometimes that happens. We have a deeper team now than we ever have, which means that we have a better chance at winning the Stanley Cup than we’ve ever had. … I really enjoy my teammates, I’ve played for a decade with some of these guys and the desire to win the Stanley Cup is so great. I still want the ultimate success here.”
Injured forward Jay Beagle is slated to return from Long Term Injured Reserve for the Caps’ Sunday game against the Chicago Blackhawks. Putting Laich on waivers could free up room for Beagle, who has been out since the start of the New Year with a hand injury.
Two days ago, Washington GM Brian MacLellan talked about Laich and how the aging forward’s role has dwindled this season for the NHL-leading Capitals.
“I’ve known him from the beginning,”MacLellan said of Laich. “I watched him in world juniors. I watched him in Binghamton, and you know, was part of the trade that got him here. He’s been a good soldier here for a long time, and he’s done well.
“It’s frustrating to see the injuries and the impact it’s had, but it’s part of a pro career, you know? I think we’ve got to respect what he’s done in the organization. He’s played a long time. He’s played here. He’s been loyal to the organization, so I think we have to give him respect for that.”
At that time when asked about showing loyalty back to Laich, MacLellan said, “there’s a business decision that needs to be made. That’s just what it is. You can’t get around it.”
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