The Caps have announced this morning that they have re-signed centerman Brooks Laich to a six-year contract worth an estimated $27 million. Laich would have been an unrestricted free agent if a deal hadn’t been struck by Friday, July 1; letting Laich go could’ve been a step backwards for the team.
Fortunately, the Caps stepped up and held on to one of their more dynamic on-ice leaders. The center had made it known that he preferred to stick around the DC area, fully intending to return to the Caps locker room in the fall. Today, that’s a surety for at least the next six years.
“My intent the whole time was to return. That was the only option. We got to a point where it got very close to the draft and I really wanted to get the deal done so I knew for sure I’d be going back to Washington,” Laich told Caps media senior writer Mike Vogel. “You never know could happen at the draft; they could have made trades or gone in another direction. I didn’t want to lose Washington.”
“He was important to our team,” said General Manager George McPhee in the Caps press release. “We had to sort out what kind of commitment he wanted to make and what kind of commitment we wanted to make. But as we got further along in the process and really got a more comprehensive view of contracts in the league and where he fits with those players and those contracts, it seemed like he was right in line with a lot of them.”
Laich’s continued presence will keep the Caps’ veteran center line intact, joining Niklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson up the middle.