Brooks Laich

Agent: Laich is ‘glue of’ Capitals, won’t be bought out


The Washington Capitals still have a compliance buyout left, which means they could completely rid themselves of the final three seasons of forward Brooks Laich’s $4.5 million annual cap hit.

Laich, who has battled through groin problems in recent years and would need to pass a physical in order to be bought out, was only able to score eight goals and 15 points in 51 games in 2013-14. All the same, it looks like Washington plans to stick with him.

“I’ll be honest with you, I have not heard one whisper,” Laich’s agent, Roly Thompson told CSN Washington. “This is not because I represent Brooks, it’s just a general statement:

“He is the glue of the team. He’s the guy in the dressing room that’s the leader and when he’s not there or injured, things tend to not be as cohesive. So, if there is one guy you would not want to let go it would be Brooks.”

Despite Laich’s recent struggles, it would be surprising if Washington did declare its intentions to buy him out at this point. New Capitals GM Brian MacLellan already said in May that they “need” Laich.

The question is if he can stay healthy. Given that the Capitals will forfeit their final compliance buyout if they don’t use it this summer, they better hope he bounces back.

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?