Brooks Laich Remains a Capital; Signs Six-Year Deal

Posted by Dave Nichols | Tuesday, June 28, 2011 | , , | 0 comments »

The Washington Capitals announced today that they re-signed forward Brooks Laich to a six-year deal, reportedly worth $27 million.  It's a bold move to retain one of the hardest-working players in the game, an integral part of this team and organization.  While the cap hit of $4.5 million per season is steep for a second-line player, he would have been one of the more attractive free agents available on the market had the Capitals allowed him to test the waters.

With the acquisition of forward Troy Brouwer, GM George McPhee signalled that he wants this team to be tougher.  Re-signing Laich, one of the players on staff that does do the dirty work, furthers those goals.

The size of Laich's salary immediately had fans contemplating other moves within the organization to create space under the league's salary cap.  The Capitals have several other restricted free agents, including Karl Alzner, Semyon Varlamov, Mathieu Perrault  and newly acquired winger Troy Brouwer.  The team made qualifying offers to each of those players (and minor leaguer Francois Bouchard), so the Caps retain the rights to the players and the right to match any contract offer made to them after the players officially receive their RFA status at noon Friday, July 1.

"We are very pleased to have Brooks Laich continue his career as a Washington Capital,” said GM George McPhee via team press release. “Brooks has excelled as one of the League’s finer two-way players and is just entering his prime. His combination of size, speed, versatility and leadership makes him a valuable part of our club."

"I’m thrilled to make the commitment to remain a Capital,” said Laich. “It is a wonderful organization with terrific fans and I’m very happy to continue to call Washington home for many years to come.”

The 6’2”, 215-pound center set career-highs in goals (25), assists (34) and points (59) during the 2009-10 season and scored 20 or more goals in three straight seasons from 2007-2010. In 475 career regular-season games, Laich has recorded 237 points (100 goals, 137 assists) and is a plus-14. In 37 career playoff games, he has tallied seven goals and 16 assists for 23 points.

The Wawota, Saskatchewan, native is second among active Capitals players in franchise games played (474), fifth in points (237), third in goals (100) and fifth in assists (137). Laich is 15th amongst his 2001 draft class in points but is one of only three players in the top 15 to be drafted later than the third round.

Both Laich and McPhee will be available to the media later today.