The Washington Capitals have placed veteran forward Brooks Laich on waivers, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie. Laich has one year left on a six-year, $27 million contract with a cap hit of $4.5 million. Laich has just seven points in 59 games this season. Laich has been with Washington since 2004.
Laich has until noon tomorrow to clear waivers. What this means is that any team can acquire Laich, assuming they will also pay his existing contract. If Laich clears waivers (no team picks him up) the Caps would free up $950,000 in cap space, and Laich would return to the Capitals organization. It is unlikely anyone will claim Laich, which could possibly re-position him in Hershey by mid-day tomorrow.
As per WaPo, If Laich clears waivers, he does not have to be reassigned to Hershey. Could still stay up here. A reminder: roster limit goes away after trade deadline, but salary cap stays. However, there’s no salary cap in the playoffs, so Laich could be around for playoffs. If Laich clears waivers, he could possibly can play on Sunday, then be sent to AHL later (which is when cap relief would kick in). That could maximize space at deadline.
The Capitals were required to free-up salary cap space in order for Jay Beagle to return to the active roster. All signs point to Beagle being able to play tomorrow. This would clear the cap room to activate him off Long-term Injured Reserve (LTIR).