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Former Capitals forward Brooks Laich is currently an unrestricted free agent, but that could change fairly soon. According to John Rosen of the Los Angeles Kings Insider, Laich was on the ice for an informal workout with the Kings on Wednesday and is expected to sign a professional tryout agreement before training camp begins.
Laich was placed on waivers by the Capitals on February 27, 2016, before being traded (along with defenseman Connor Carrick and a second-round Pick in 2016) to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for forward Daniel Winnik and a 2016 fourth-round Pick. Laich, 34, was frustrated in Toronto and eventually requested a trade to a Cup contender. Prior to last season, the Maple Leafs waived him and he played the 2016-17 season with the Leafs’ AHL affiliate Toronto Maple Leafs before being waived again on February 21.
Laich became an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career on July 1. After being paid $4.5 million a year on his expired six-year deal, Laich is certainly going to get a massive pay cut, even if the Kings or another team signs him.
Laich married actress Julianne Hough over the offseason and if he signs with the Kings, it will allow him to spend more time with her. Laich has played 764 career games with the Capitals, Maple Leafs, and Ottawa Senators, the team that selected him in the sixth-round of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. While Laich had five 35-plus point seasons for the Capitals, he ran into an injury that limited him to only nine out of a possible 48 games played in the 2012-13 lockout season. He never returned to form after the injury, and continued to be bitten by the injury bug during his remaining years in a Capitals sweater. The following year, he played 51 games and 66 the next year.
For a Kings team that finished tied for 24th in the league last season with 199 goals for, Laich is a low-risk, but potentially a high reward signing. It will be hard for him to get back to form, especially after spending a year in the American Hockey League. He will have to get a little puck luck to score as many goals as he did in 2010 with the Caps. Laich had a goal and nine points in 27 games played for the Toronto Marlies.
A Heartfelt Farewell for Brooks Laich at Verizon Tonight
By Harrison Brown