Brooks Laich was the longest tenured Washington Capital. That began to change over the weekend, when the Capitals waived Laich. Now, his tenure as a Capital is officially over. The Capitals traded the veteran forward along with prospect defenseman Connor Carrick, and a second round draft selection to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Forward Daniel Winnik and a fifth round selection.
Here is a bit about the deal from the Washington Capitals.
“Daniel is a versatile player who plays with grit and can be used in all situations,” MacLellan said. “This move enables us to add some depth to our forward group and balances our lineup. We would like to thank Brooks for all of his contributions to our organization over the past 10 years. Brooks is a true professional and we wish him all the best in the future.”
Winnik, 30, has registered 198 points (62 goals, 136 assists) in 625 career NHL games with Arizona, Colorado, San Jose, Anaheim, Pittsburgh and Toronto. The 6’2”, 207-pound forward tallied 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in 56 games with the Maple Leafs this season. Winnik ranked second among NHL forwards in shorthanded time on ice per game last season (3:16) and set career highs in assists (25) and points (34). During the 2013-14 season, he collected a career-high three assists on Dec. 9, 2013, vs. the Islanders and recorded a career-high three game assists streak from Dec. 7 to Dec. 11, 2013 (five assists). The Toronto native was one of three Anaheim players to play in all 48 games during the 2012-13 season and ranked first in the NHL in games played (84) in 2011-12. Winnik set his career high in goals (11) in 2010-11 and 2007-08 and scored the game-winning goal in his NHL debut on Oct. 4, 2007 vs. St. Louis. He was drafted by the Coyotes in the ninth round, 265th pick.
The deal is a positive deal for the Capitals for two reasons. First, Winnik will provide the Caps the deeper line depth they were seeking to improve upon. Winnik’s production will likely go up in DC, compared to playing on a second line in Toronto without much support. The move is also big for the Capitals because it frees up $2.2 million in cap space by clearing Laich from the books. That may be very important when the trade deadline comes tomorrow.
What the Caps lose is their longest tenured player. Laich was acquired by the Capitals as part of the Peter Bondra trade in 2003. He played 741 career games with the Capitals. He was also a huge fan favorite. However, the move is not unexpected, even before the waiver over the weekend. Laich has been beset by injuries and his production has deteriorated over the past few seasons. In 60 games this season, Laich has managed just 7 points. Caps will also depart with a former second round pick Connor Carrick. Carrick has registered 25 points in 46 games with the AHL Hershey Bears this season.
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