Brooks Laich

Caps’ Laich (groin) facing tough decision — surgery, or rehab?


This year has been a nightmare health-wise for Brooks Laich, who has missed 32 of Washington’s 41 games with a reoccurring groin problem.

Now, he’s facing a tough decision:

End the frustration, or grind it out.

According to CSN’s Chuck Gormely, Laich and the Capitals are mulling over two options on how to treat the injury.

One is corrective surgery for the groin — which could end Laich’s season — while the other is letting him rehab his way back into the lineup.

According to head coach Adam Oates, it’s still not clear what direction they’ll take.

“He’s seeing a lot of [specialists],” Oates told CSN. “We’re tying to figure out any way we can to get him on the ice before we go to other steps. They’re still having a tough time identifying exactly what it is.”

Laich missed the first 28 games of the season and has now missed the last four. Surgery would be of the sports hernia variety, but the issue is the four-to-six week recovery period, which could wipe out Laich’s season.

Further complicating things? The fact Washington’s on fire.

The Caps have won six straight and are 8-1-1 in their last 10, moving into sole possession of first in the Southeast Division and third in the Eastern Conference.

Laich could undergo surgery, try to rehab quickly and hope to be back for the second postseason round, assuming the Caps get there.

Or he could sit out a little longer, and aim to rejoin the team at the start of the playoffs.

Either way, according to teammate Mike Green, a decision will have to be made.

“At some point you just have to make a decision,” said Green, who missed five weeks last season after sports hernia surgery. “[Laich’s] a strong mental guy and he’ll come out of this if he works hard.”

Torres suspended pending hearing

Raffi Torres, Cory Schneider
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According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Raffi Torres has been suspended pending his disciplinary hearing with the league for his hit on Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Torres was assessed a match penalty for targeting Silfverberg’s head on Saturday night.

The 33-year-old missed all of last season with a knee injury, and it looks like the start of his regular season will be delayed once again.

Head coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have come back into the game, but he was held out for precautionary reasons.

Ducks center Ryan Kesler didn’t hide his feelings after the contest.

“(Torres) is the same player every year,” Kesler told reporters. “He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”



Oilers place Scrivens on waivers

Jordan Martinook, Ben Scrivens
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The Edmonton Oilers placed Ben Scrivens on waivers on Sunday.

Should he go unclaimed, the 29-year-old will be sent to the American Hockey League.

It looks like Edmonton will enter the regular season with Cam Talbot and Anders Nilsson as their goaltenders.

Scrivens was the team’s number one goalie last year, but his overall numbers were among the worst for starting goaltenders in the NHL.

He had a 15-26-11 record with a 3.16 goals-against-average and a .890 save percentage in 57 games last season.

Scrivens is scheduled to make $2.3 million in the final year of his contract.

If he does end up in the AHL, the Oilers will carry $1.35 million of dead money on the salary cap.

The move comes one day after Edmonton placed Nikita Nikitin on waivers.

The 29-year-old officially cleared on Sunday afternoon.