Born June 23, 1983 (age 28) in Wawota, Saskatchewan, Canada
Forward for the Washington Capitals
Laich is a versatile kind of guy. He can play center or either wing, which is why I just said ‘forward’ up there. He started out by playing with the Moose Jaw Warriors and getting the club’s Scholastic Player of the Year award for 2000-01. After that season, the Ottawa Senators took him 193rd overall in the 2001 draft, though he elected to stay minor for another year. He was traded in a controversial deal to the Seattle Thunderbirds–controversial because one of the players traded for him never reported to the Warriors and the other left the club. Oops. However, the trade benefited him because being with Seattle gave him a chance to develop his offensive strategies and improve his play. Though he went to Senators training camp for 2002-03, he spent time with the Binghamton Senators before going to Ottawa in February 2003. That same season, he was traded to the Capitals in exchange for Peter Bondra, first spending time with their AHL club at the time (Portland Pirates), debuting in Washington and finishing the season with Portland. Portland is also where he spent all of the lockout.
Following the lockout, Laich worked hard to earn a spot on the big guys squad. 2006-07 was his first season spent totally in DC. He only got better the next season, explaining his philosophy as he scored 21 goals that year: “If you want money, go to the bank. If you want bread, go to the bakery. If you want goals, go to the net.” Very good! He actually played every game in 2007-08 and 2008-09 and his perfect attendance streak was broken only by a cheekbone injury in February 2010. (This desire for perfect attendance comes from his dad, a high school principal who missed three days of work…in 34 years of work.) Soon after he got back from that, though, he got right back into the swing of things with his first hat trick. After the Caps made their 2010 playoff exit, Laich was driving along and came across a woman and her daughter stranded on a bridge due to a flat tire. So, he changed the tire for them and apologized for the team’s early playoffs exit. What a cool guy! The next season, we of course saw Laich on the first year of 24/7, which allowed millions of viewers to see the man’s gorgeous blue eyes in detail:
Last season, he kept his dad-inspired perfect attendance going, playing in 82 regular games, scoring 16 goals and 32 assists and spending 46 penalty minutes. During the Caps’ playoff run, he played 9 games, got 1 goal and 6 assists and just two penalty minutes. This season, it looks like he’s aiming for more perfect attendance and to at least match last year’s performance. He’s such a nice guy, I hope for the best for him!