There’s a proverb that says “don’t bite the hand that feeds”. Toronto Marlies’ veteran forward Brooks Laich seems to be unfamiliar with it. In an interview with The Athletic, he said:
“You don’t win a Stanley Cup playing in the American League. If the Leafs don’t have a plan for me with them then I would like to pursue a Stanley Cup somewhere else
You can read the full text from the interview here.
— The Athletic (@TheAthleticTO) February 21, 2017
It turns out the Toronto Maple Leafs definitely do have a plan, and Laich doesn’t figure in it. The 33 year old has been placed on waivers. It’s possible that the Penguins, Blackhawks or Capitals might see the Laich as the one factor they’ve been missing to complete their romp home to the Stanley Cup… but in the real world it’s unlikely. Assuming the top teams can absorb his $4.5 million cap hit; why would they want to?
Laich has scored 363 NHL points in 829 regular season and playoff games, and that’s more than plenty of other NHLers. But Laich hasn’t started a game for the big team this season. In just 22 games with the Marlies he has one goal and five assists and just isn’t that attractive a prospect. I can’t think of any genuine contenders who require his services. On reflection I can’t think of any teams who really need him. On form Laich is an okay center. His career Corsi For is 50.4%, which is fine but not spectacular. It’s clear his best years are behind him.
The most annoying thing about this whole situation is Laich’s comments. Of course everyone wants to win the Stanley Cup but don’t complain about playing in the AHL. The Calder Trophy still holds a lot of prestige, and for a lot of guys the AHL is the highest level of hockey they’ll ever achieve. For Laich to moan about his position smacks of petulance. Especially while he’s sitting on a $4.5 million contract.
The comments Laich made are understandable but should be reserved for the GM’s office. As a Red Wings fan, if one my team came out with those comments I’d be embarrassed. And I definitely wouldn’t want them on my team. By the time you read this, Laich may have been picked up by another team, or he may just be sheepishly returning to the Marlies.