Laich to attend camp on PTO; anecdotal notes from the "captain's skate" - LA Kings Insider

Paul Bereswill/NHLI

LA Kings Insider has learned from multiple sources that Brooks Laich will attend training camp on a PTO with Los Angeles. Laich, 34, split time with Washington and Toronto during the 2015-16 season, posting two goals and 14 points in 81 total games. Last season, he appeared in 27 games with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies during an injury-dotted campaign in which he suffered a shoulder surgery and was shut down in late March when he underwent elbow surgery, according to the Toronto Sun.

In 764 career games with Washington, Ottawa and Toronto, Laich has totaled 134 goals, 197 assists and 331 points. His best season was with the Capitals in 2009-10 when he totaled 25 goals and 59 points.

Though Laich passed through waivers last season, it was clear that the Maple Leafs weren’t the most appropriate fit for the veteran whose character is deeply appreciated in dressing rooms and across the Capitals fanbase.

Via Joshua Kloke of The Athletic ($):

A veteran on a young Marlies team that has been ravaged by injuries, Laich downplays the notion he could serve a mentorship role with the Marlies.

“The media makes such a big deal about mentorship,” he said. “Listen, I’m 33. I’m not 45. I still feel incredibly young. Physically and mentally, I feel as youthful and as energetic as any kid that walks in the door. I feel like I’m younger than the 20-year-old kids. I have passion for the game. You might call me crazy, but I still feel like my best days of hockey are ahead of me.

“I’m not here just to be a mentor and be a good guy. That comes by being a teammate and having experience. But that’s not my job here. My job here is to play hockey and play as well as I can. I still feel I have many, many years left to play.”

There were other factors that put a ceiling on his 2016-17 numbers, such as an AHL rule that limits five veterans per game, as The Sun noted.

For the last several summers, Laich has been a fixture at Toyota Sports Center’s conditioning skates that draw in players with ties to Southern California who are building up conditioning for the season. In addition to players on the Kings, Sidney Crosby, Ryan Miller and Greg Pateryn are among NHL players who have also skated informally during Augusts at TSC in recent years. Laich, who married Julianne Hough, an actress and Dancing with the Stars judge, over the summer, has ties to the Los Angeles area.

In addition to Laich, Andrei Loktionov, Brandon Prust, Chris Lee and at least one additional skater will attend training camp on a PTO.

CAPTAIN ‘S TABLE. I’ve never actually heard the term “captain’s skate” IRL, but that’s apparently the preferred nomenclature, and so that is how it shall be written in the Book of LAKI. Also, until these skates become Actual Practices, I won’t share the full attendance, but nearly all veterans who will be taking part in training camp were on the ice Wednesday.

Some very early and likely unimportant observations:

-Numbers! LA Kings PR tweeted two weeks ago that Michael Cammalleri would wear #14, Christian Folin #5 and Darcy Kuemper #35. Several other numbers sported Wednesday morning at TSC: Andrei Loktionov is 10, Alex Iafallo is 62, Oscar Fantenberg is 48 (the same number he wore at development camp) and Brooks Laich is 25. Don’t pay a ton of attention to wonky jersey numbers for roster periphery guys; pay attention to what the camp roster says when it’s released.

-Also participating was Teddy Purcell. I don’t have an update there; he hasn’t been signed by an NHL team, and no PTOs have been reported.

-Goalies participating were Jonathan Quick, Darcy Kuemper and Jack Campbell.

-Tyler Toffoli’s flow was noticeably more voluminous than last year. There’s a Samson reference that applies here.

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