Brooks Laich isn’t happy. He’s making more than $4MM, playing in Toronto on a young team that has had a lot of recent success. The only problem is that it isn’t the Toronto Maple Leafs, it’s the Marlies. He’s been stuck in the AHL all season, and after telling The Athletic yesterday that he would like to be sent somewhere else if he wasn’t in their plans, he was placed on waivers today by the club. James Mirtle, the Editor-in-Chief of The Athletic penned a piece today that contained quotes from Laich’s agent, explaining that his client still believes he can contribute at the NHL level and deserves to have that chance.
Well he’s under contract. He’s not going to break the contract. He’s committed. [But] he’d like to be moved to a team that can use him and help that team make a run for it. Obviously Toronto is trying to fulfill that request.
It’s a tricky situation as Mirtle points out, because if Toronto were to trade him and retain half his salary, it would actually be a bigger cap-hit than leaving him buried in the minors. That’s not something a team does just to be nice, regardless of how much space they might have. It’s unfortunate that it has come to this for the former Washington Capitals forward, after he made such an excellent impression on the team and fan base last spring when he arrived .
- John Shannon of Sportsnet reports that the appeal of Antoine Vermette’s 10-game suspension will happen on Thursday at 2pm in New York. The Ducks will be on their mandated bye-week following Saturday’s upcoming game against the Los Angeles Kings, which will encompass the trade deadline. The team because of Vermette, needs help up front as we outlined yesterday in the Ducks’ deadline primer. If the suspension is reduced, the Ducks will welcome Vermette back with open arms and could move Rickard Rakell back to the wing.
- Speaking of bye-weeks, it seems like the NHL isn’t happy with the much-publicized struggles of team’s coming back from them. Bill Daly was on TSN 1040 this afternoon discussing the possibility of having just two periods and splitting the teams in half instead of having them throughout the season. Daly said there have been concerns over this season’s schedule from pretty much every important group involved in the NHL, from the owners to the players. If the tweak goes through, teams will play each other coming off the bye-weeks, instead of going up against a squad that doesn’t have any rust. The 4-12-4 record for teams’ first game back off the bye—which includes one win from the Maple Leafs over the Rangers after they both ended their time off—is a clear sign that there was a competitive imbalance to the way things were scheduled this year.