Photo credit: Rob Carr
Brooks Laich took his jack-of-all-trades role to a new level this year, spending time on wing, center, and even playing one game on defense when the team was in a tight spot. Perhaps his most memorable moments were the ones that came between play, however — every time Laich was knocked down, he got back up. We’re not using that figuratively, this guy is resilient.
Cap Hit: $4.5 M. Brooks Laich is signed through 2016-17, and will be RFA on expiration of that contract.
Best Moment: Scoring the game-winning goal against the Panthers to send the Caps to the playoffs, after he
guaranteed was really confident that the Caps would make it there.
Things We Said About Brooks Laich: “NOT THE FACE.”
Alignment: Lawful Good
First Irrelevant Google Images Result:
Media Consensus: “Scoar moar goals, Brooks!”
Spirit Animal: A battleship.
Or possibly an anteater.
Alternate Universe Superhero Identity: Swiss Army Laich
Team Role: After signing a contract that made him one of the team’s core players, Laich was expected to make a difference on the ice. He was to continue to be a defensively responsible two-way player, play a great deal on special teams, and try to get back to that 20-goal plateau that escaped him in 2010-11.
Execution of that Role: As the team started to thin out down the middle, Laich became the team’s go-to winger-disguised-as-a-center. While Laich will take on any role that’s handed to him with intensity, center is perhaps not his calling — he struggled with faceoffs and goals-against, and scored only 16 goals for the second season in a row. Despite that, Laich was a stabilizing force in a difficult season and provided some of the best morale-boosting moments of the year. He even dropped the gloves once, and actually won.
Laich played all 82 games of the regular season and all 14 of the postseason, even after several scary moments that could have ended his season. Next time a Cap gets injured, we’re just going to give them a transfusion of Brooks Laich’s blood.
Postseason Performance: Laich bought into Hunter’s grinding, shot-blocking style big time, leading the team in blocked shots and scoring twice, tallying seven points throughout the postseason. Though he was visibly crushed at the team’s early exit, he maintained that he was proud of the team for the way that they went out this year.
Somehow rugged and dashing at the same time. We expected no less. Nine out of ten.
Likeliness to Return: Though there are other teams that would love to have him, the Caps proposed to Laich last summer and he accepted. He’s going to be with us for awhile. Eight out of ten.
Usefulness in a Post-Apocalyptic Setting: Brooks Laich is apparently unbreakable, and he could charm any hostile survivors with his handsome face. Multi-purpose survival partner. Eight out of ten.
Other: Someday, Brooks will actually explain what Latisys is in one of these commercials.
Overall Year-End Rating: Six Good Sashas.