“It’s been fun, see you never,” Michael Latta tweeted to Andre Burakovsky in September.
After feeling “older and more mature,” the Burracuda moved into his own apartment, leaving the original Caps’ roomies, Latta and Tom Wilson, a brobean short.
Fast-forward to today and things have become harrowing. Washington Capitals General Manager Brian MacLellan non-tendered Latta, a restricted free agent, while tendering Wilson — metaphorically evicting Latta from the team. Talk about awkward. Latta will be free to sign with another team on July 1, breaking the lease between the Caps Roomies for good (at least physically in Arlington). Latta said his goodbyes this evening.
Thank you Washington, love the city, love the fans. Looking forward to earning an opportunity somewhere else.
— Michael Latta (@Latta17) June 27, 2016
Going to be sad not having you around next year brother. It was an amazing few years and you'll always be a great friend @Latta17
— Tom Wilson (@tom_wilso) June 27, 2016
During difficult times like these, we must openly weep, become irrational, and eat buckets of Häagen-Dazs. And also: remember the good times!
Michael Latta’s time with the Washington Capitals appears to be over.
The Washington Post’s Isabelle Khurshudyan tweeted today that the team will not extend a qualifying offer to Latta, meaning the restricted free agent will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
Though the Caps could still pursue Latta as a free agent, General Manager Brian MacLellan appears to be focused on qualifying the team’s other RFAs — Marcus Johansson, Dmitry Orlov, and Tom Wilson — and trying to sign and re-sign other pieces of the puzzle, possibly including Latta’s linemate, Jason Chimera.
During his season-ending press conference with reporters, Washington Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan lamented the loss of Joel Ward while also stating his desire to see Tom Wilson expand his role. “I think it’s on us to turn Tom Wilson into Joel Ward,” MacLellan said. “It’s on Tom and on us to turn him into that kind of guy that has a net-front presence, that finds loose pucks, finds rebounds, plays good along the wall. I think Tom is our answer to that.”
Wilson, who has led the Capitals in penalty minutes over the last three seasons, has not seen the offensive ability he showed in junior translate to the NHL. On Wednesday night, Wilson gave us a front row seat to the intense summer training that may or may not take him to the next level.
It did not include squats, but did include a samurai bun.
Let’s be real. When you decided to read RMNB’s season recap of Michael Latta, you didn’t think, man, what a great season. You thought, oh fun, there’s gonna be photos of him at the beach and ketchup bottles stuff.
There is. There definitely is, but I swear that Michael Latta is a solid NHL player who is ready for regular assignments on the fourth line. He’s a gamer. Let’s talk about it.
The Washington Capitals have played eleven games in this year’s postseason and, so far, forward Michael Latta has been a healthy scratch in all of them.
Normally the fourth-line center, since late February Latta has basically been replaced by Mike Richards. Sitting out can be difficult, but for Latta, it’s been more of an honor. Richards was Latta’s favorite hockey player as a child.
Michael Latta in his natural habitat.
Tuesday night against the Islanders, Michael Latta got back in the line-up for the first time since February 22. During the first period, Latta made his presence felt, fighting 6’4” defenseman Scott Mayfield after teammate Mike Richards was slammed hard into the boards.
Because of Latta’s latest kerfuffle, we learned of his new nickname, courtesy of Karl Alzner.
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