Free of groin worries, Laich feels ‘5 years old again’

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Back in March, Brooks Laich said he felt “mentally and physically liberated” after groin surgery.

Flash forward to the present and it sounds like he’s still feeling pretty good.

Per the Washington Post, the 31-year-old Capitals forward has been telling his girlfriend he feels “5 years old again,” finally free of the groin issues that had felt like “chains around” his body and were fueling all sorts of buyout speculation.

“It’s so much fun,” Laich said of being able to play without worrying about his groin. “Honestly, I come in with a monster smile every morning. Something you really realize is when you go through a little bit of health problems and the game gets taken from you a bit, you realize how important it is to you, how much fun you have playing.”

The Caps would love Laich to return to the days of 20-goal seasons. He had three straight of those from 2007-08 to 2009-10.

Even, say, 15 goals and 25 assists, combined with solid two-way play, would go a long way to justifying his $4.5 million cap hit.

Laich has just nine goals in 60 games since the lockout ended.

Related: New Caps GM thinks ‘we need Brooks Laich’