34-Year-Old Center – Toronto Maple Leafs
Brooks Laich Contract Information:
Signed six-year contract extension with the Capitals, worth $27 million in June of 2011.
Laich underwent elbow surgery and is rehabbing neither with the Maple Leafs nor the minor-league affiliate Marlies, John Matisz of the Toronto Sun reports.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Once an undisputed core member of the Caps, injuries and inconsistency have plagued Laich in recent seasons, and 2013-2014 was no different. A groin injury sustained during the most recent lockout has morphed into a chronic issue for Laich, who was only able to play 51 games last season, tallying eight goals and 15 points. Accounting for $4.5 million against the salary cap, Laich appeared headed towards a compliance buyout once a new general manager was found, but the organization decided against it, and Laich has continued to profess that his groin issues will be a thing of the past. The team seems committed to getting Laich back on track, and he is considered an option to replace the departed Mikhail Grabovski as the teamís second-line center, though he looked out of place in that role last season. With stiff competition and and a history of debilitating groin issues, hopes that Laich will be able to revive his days as a 20-goal and 50-point player may be misplaced, but the team believes he has some gas left in the tank. He remains a reach from a fantasy perspective except in very deep leagues.
Laich played in just nine games last year after suffering a sports hernia early in the season. He had played in 70-plus games in seven consecutive seasons going into 2012-2013. He notched 40 or more points in four straight seasons and was close to returning to the Capsí lineup when they were eliminated from the playoffs last season. Due to the injury, Laich may be a nice under-the-radar grab in the end-game drafts of deeper leagues.
Washington's on-ice leader, Laich is a fan favorite in DC and one of the team's most versatile forwards. Laich has played with Alexander Ovechkin as his winger in previous seasons, but Laich's true value lies in his leadership and work ethic. Unfortunately, those two facets of his game are not measurable by statistics. Laich potted 16 goals for the second-straight season, notching 41 total points. If he plays with the team's top six forwards, Laich could be a decent option in the later rounds of deeper leagues, but, for now, he's worth more to Washington than most rosters.
Laich tested free agency this summer, but eventually decided on returning to Washington. With a lack of centermen, Laich may be asked to center the second line. For fantasy owners, he will be a very hot commodity, especially with the possibility of Alexander Semin and Troy Brouwer on either side. Since becoming a mainstay in D.C., Laich has steadily improved every season. He had his best year in 2009-10, but still produced right under 50 points last season. Look for him to take advantage of his new role this season if that is what is asked of him and get back into the area of 60 points. He will also be asked to play a good deal on the man advantage. Do not hesitate to grab him on draft day if the price is right.
Last season, Laich took another big leap forward by posting career bests in goals and assists, but most surprising was his plus-16 rating - the first time that heís been on the positive end of the rating in the six years that heís been in the league. Also, each year, Laich is getting awarded with more ice time per game. Heís one of several Washington skaters not named Alex Ovechkin that possesses sufficient fantasy value ahead of the 2010-11 season. Laich is currently on track to open the year centering the Caps' second scoring line.
Laich, the 26-year-old center is fresh off his career best season in goals (23), assists (30), and points (53), while playing in all 82 regular season games. He has finally came into his own and his gritty play has really helped the Caps' secondary scoring the last few seasons. He may not be an overrated player coming into this season, but should be relevant in deeper leagues.
Laich, the 25-year-old center is fresh off his career best season in goals (21), assists (16), and points (37), while playing in all 82 regular season games. He flourished after being moved to the Caps' second line, recording 12 goals and 20 points in his final 22 games. Fantasy- wise, his value may be a bit overrated, considering his output can be related to who his linemates were last season. It is unsure of what line he will man, but be sure to keep an eye on him during training camp.
Laich was converted from center to the wing last season, and will likely remain there in 2007-08. The Capitals don't have a clear second-line right winger, but most likely Laich -- who had only 18 points in 73 games last season -- will end up on a checking line.
It'll be interesting to see what the Caps do with Laich, as the organization is extremely thin at center. With Jeff Halpern gone to free agency, Laich will likely battle it out with Brian Sutherby and Kris Beech to see who will center the Caps' second line in 2006-07. If he gets the nod, the 22-year-old -- who filled in well centering the second line when Halpern missed time due to injury last season -- could be among the Caps' top scorers.
After putting up 33 points in 44 games with AHL Binghamton in the Ottawa organization in 2003-04, Laich received sporadic playing time for the Caps' AHL affiliate and only scored four points in 22 games. He received a bit more playing time in 2004-05, and had 16 goals and 26 points in 68 games. This season the 22-year-old should be a top line forward for Hershey, and with the Caps' lack of proven talent on their roster, a positive performance could see him advanced up the organizational depth chart, but its unlikely that Laich will play a major role in the NHL in 2005-06.