This summer George McPhee will be tasked with making some tough decisions. The decision that he should have the least trouble making surrounds Brooks Laich. The answer is let him walk out the door and sign with another team.
If you ask almost all Capitals fans and media members that cover the team, the majority of them will all say bring him back. Trade Semin to have enough cash to sign him they will say. Why exactly is there this love affair between everyone and Brooks Laich?
Brooks Laich is a player that says the right things but very rarely does the things he says. He speaks of crashing the net, playing with more energy, and doing the little things it takes to win but quite frankly I rarely see him screening the goalie(since he took a puck to the face in practice over a year ago), I see him playing hard but rarely does he ever have a hit that would create energy for his team. But because he says the right things fans want to take the C from Ovechkin and give it to Laich and amazingly want to give him upwards of $4M per year to stay in DC.
To which I say this, look at Matt Moulson and Alex Burrows, two players that are better all around players than Brooks Laich. Alex Burrows has a $2M cap hit, Matt Moulson has a $3.133M cap hit, so why exactly would any GM in their right mind give Brooks Laich $4M a year?? At some points a year ago I heard his name in the same breath as Ryan Kessler, Brooks Laich is nowhere close to the player Kessler is. Players like Joel Ward and Chad Larose, while they might not put up the points and won't make near $3M, they bring the energy to the game that quite often steals momentum during the game. I can't remember the last time Brooks Laich did anything to give his team momentum in a game.
The bottom line is any player can say the right things when being interviewed and not follow through on their words. There are guys that can produce like Brooks Laich for far less money than is being associated with his name. The Capitals have not advanced beyond the 2nd round with him here in the locker room. So while he says the right things, I'd much rather see him follow through on his words in another city. Let him get his money from another team and walk away from him George, that should be the easiest decision you have to make in the next 6 weeks.