Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Laich to take his lumps

Per Tarik, Brooks Laich's arbitration hearing is scheduled for today.

Brooks is a decent grinder who put up workmanlike stats (8 g, 10 a last year, 7g, 14a the year before), but I'm not sure he's going to get any more than a verbal beatdown out of this maneuver. He skated with Semin for a portion of last year, and if the Caps put together a montage of the number of easy scoring chances created by Semin that he flubbed I don't see an arbitrator giving him a big raise.

Frankly, if the arbitrator does, I think the Caps will walk away and let him become a free agent. They now have a glut of players capable of playing third line minutes at both center and the wing. I'm not sure, but I think that may be Laich's strategy. Perhaps he sees the writing on the wall here in DC and would like to sign with a team where he'd get more minutes rather than shuttle back and forth between DC and Hershey all year long. One can't really fault the guy if that is indeed the case.

Nevertheless, it's going to be a rough afternoon in the hearing room for Mr. Laich.

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