Saturday, May 07, 2011

UFA: Brooks Laich

It wasn't a career season for Brooks Laich, but it was a solid season for the center/winger. Laich played all 82 regular season games for the Capitals but only racked up 16 goals and 32 assists. A little off from the season before where he netted 25 goals and 34 assists in the '09-'10 season.

Laich is not a player that the Capitals depend on heavily for points, but when he is producing offensively the team benefits. He is shaping up to be a good two way player and no one doubts Laich's passion to win. However, his ultra competitiveness demeanor is sometimes a down point. Even Bruce Boudreau admits that Laich can wear himself down through the course of a game.

Washington acquired Laich from Ottawa for Peter Bondra in the big sell off before the lockout in 2005. The Capitals definitely need more characters like Brooks Laich. It should not be a surprise that McPhee signs the talented forward to a long term contract. But that has yet to come to fruition.

Reasons to keep:

Laich does provide consistency on a team that is often emotional and inconsistent. He holds a second line position and a third line position. He is coachable and brings a competitive attitude to the locker room. When he makes the score sheet there is a good chance it leads to a Capital win.

He is a versatile player that can be thrown on the ice in various situations. He has proven he can cover on defense when he has to and doesn't mind switching wing position or centering a line.  

Plus he will win you a few PR awards for being a good guy and changing flat tires on the 14th Street bridge. He is well liked in the locker room and respected by his piers.

Reasons to dump:

Brooks Laich came off a career year but did not produce to the same level this year. His potential might have plateaued leaving him to only being a 10 to 15 goal a season player. He also needs to even out his emotions during a game and work towards a positive frame of mind during games instead of over working to make something happen. Practicing patience might be a hard lesson for him to learn.

He might ask for more than what the market would pay for him to stay a Capital and usually that ends with him testing free agency on July 1.


Anonymous said...

The Caps should be considering not only a long term contract for Brooks but providing him a permanent letter (certainly an A but maybe the C) as opposed to the rotation of letters on sweaters we see too often. Moving the C from Ovi should be played as relieving him of some of the responsibility that the Captain should take on - as a speaker, as a voice of the team and public face off the ice as well as on. Let him do it on the ice and show his passion for playing hard and winning and allow a more cerebral person, like Brooks, take on those other tasks.

Brooks comes off as the character guy that the Caps need to maintain.

Do you in the group think that this thinking is far off base?

Mia said...

Laich will get at least two offers from other NHL teams to be sure. He's been scouted by several teams. He is one of the more reliable guys in many ways. He is maturing.

I suspect that all the single ladies in the Capitals Nation may be sad to learn that DC probably won't give the "C" to anyone other than whose got it now, but another NHL team will not only give him a "C", but will pay more than DC can afford.

And here I thought I was only one who thought his impatience and highly charged need to compete were sometimes an issue.

As usual, thanks for all the hard work. I also appreciater that you've linked my blog on your home page. Most folks weren't as brave as you.

Enjoy your post-season, albiet too fast in coming. I've had 30+ years of this, so if I simply am not strong enough to be a fully invested CAPS fan next season, please be sure to read the home page of my blog before giving me S.

Hope we're all making progress getting over YET ANOTHER CAPS SEASON! ;-)