Hey, remember back in March when we were speculating that Brooks Laich could be bought out by the Washington Capitals?
Yeah, we’re not sure we can speculate about that anymore after what new general manager Brian “George” MacLellan said today.
“I think we need Brooks Laich,” said MacLellan, per CBS’ Sky Kerstein. ‘When Brooks Laich’s in our line-up our team plays better. A healthy Brooks Laich.”
Key word there? Healthy. Because Laich has been anything but.
That’s Laich’s injury log from the past year and a bit. You’ll note the number of times his groin has been a problem. Heck, just search “Laich groin” on PHT. You won’t find any shortage of posts.
Now, Laich did have surgery in March, and the procedure did leave him feeling “mentally and physically liberated and free to get on with my hockey career and excel in the sport – not just participate.”
So maybe his injury woes are finally behind him. The 30-year-old is signed through 2016-17 with a cap hit of $4.5 million, so the Caps, if they do keep him, better hope so.
Laich, by the way, was on hand for today’s press conference introducing McLellan and new head coach Barry Trotz.
Related: Trotz: ‘I don’t want to take anything away from the Capitals offensively’
Curtis Glencross’ hard-luck preseason continued on Monday, as the Avalanche announced they released him from his training camp tryout.
Glencross had previously been cut from Toronto’s camp, which he described as “kind of a shock” move. Following that release, the 32-year-old quickly shifted to Colorado but arrived fairly late in the overall process, and only got a bit of exposure before being let go.
While some thought yesterday’s trade of Freddie Hamilton to Calgary may have opened up a spot for Glencross, the Avs now appear to be going in a different direction.
A two-time 20-goal scorer that netted 13 in 71 games last year, it’s unclear what lies ahead for Glencross.
The Edmonton Oilers have assigned center Leon Draisaitl to AHL Bakersfield.
The demotion of Draisaitl, 19, means 21-year-old rookie Anton Slepyshev has made the opening-day roster after scoring twice and adding two assists in exhibition action.
The Oilers experimented during the preseason with Draisaitl, a natural center, on the wing. He didn’t have a particularly poor camp, finishing with one goal and three assists in six games.
But Slepyshev apparently impressed more.
“He’s a young player but he’s played pro hockey before,” coach Todd McLellan told the Edmonton Journal. “You can see it.”
Slepyshev played 58 games in the KHL last season, scoring 15 goals for Salavat Yulaev Ufa.