Maple Leafs place Brooks Laich on waivers


© Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

In an article with The Athletic yesterday, Brooks Laich expressed interest in continuing his NHL career with a different franchise and a desire to join a team on a Stanley Cup run. It seems the Toronto Maple Leafs are granting his wish, as the veteran centre has been placed on waivers. 

Laich has spent the entire season playing for Toronto’s AHL affiliate, and has recorded only one goal and five assists over 22 games. It’s very clear that his days of being a productive top-six player who can chip in with 20 goals and contribute defensively are over, but there’s some reason to believe Laich can still be a decent depth player on a contending team. 

At $4.5 million, he obviously isn’t worth it in that kind of role, but if a team claims him on waivers, he’ll only cost them $1.2 million for the remainder of the season. And this would also be ideal for the Leafs, because if someone does take his contract off their hands, they’ll save $946,666 on the cap for the rest of the season, giving them even more room to work with come trade deadline time. 

With the trade market so heavily favouring the seller, Laich might actually be a good option for a team needing to add a veteran down the middle. I mean, it’s been rumoured that Brian Boyle out of Tampa Bay would cost a first round draft pick, so Brooks Laich for nothing other than a $1.2 million cap hit may be appealing to a team that doesn’t want to pay the price in prospect or draft pick capital. 

  • The Russian Rocket

    I don’t like that the players are going to the media to make their desires known but I am happy to see Toronto assign him to waivers. It’s as if Lou is saying, you want out? Go for it – and putting the onus to leave back on Laich.

  • Stan Smith

    Classy move by the Leafs. With him already playing in the AHL they didn’t have to place him on waivers, but they did. Hopefully he will be picked up by a team looking for depth at centre for a playoff run.

      • Stan Smith

        The only way I think they would need a depth centre would be if they dealt Bozak at the deadline. If they did, it wouldn’t be a “depth” centre, it would be a third line centre to replace him.

        I personally can’t see them dealing either Bozak, or JVR at the deadline, for the simple reason that with them having one more year on their contracts, the team picking either one of them up would have to protect them at the expansion draft. The only players I can see possibly being dealt are ones on expiring contracts.

        As for picking anyone to help them with a playoff run this season, I have faith that management is not that short sighted, and realizes, first the odds of them making the playoffs are sinking fast, and second to keep their eyes on the bigger target, the Stanley Cup.

  • Brad M.

    I’ll be very surprised if he gets claimed. That is still an onerous cap hit for any interested team, and he’ll be a step behind someone like Boyle who’s at least played in the NHL all year.
    I’m glad Lou waived him though, just to make sure. Classy.

  • The Russian Rocket

    Yeah, you make a good point. It’s just weird having Corrado, Holland and Laich voice their grievances with the media. Maybe this happens on other teams but we just don’t hear about it.

  • HockeyKeeperKit

    It certainly happens elsewhere. The difference in TO is not that team voices their grievances more, it’s that the media digs and reports more into the minutia of the team. I probably couldn’t name a quarter of the AHL affiliates but in TO, not only do you hear news about the Marlies regularly, but we have reports on their depth, near retirement-level players.