The Washington Capitals have traded Brooks Laich, their longest-tenured player, defense prospect Connor Carrick and a 2016 second-round draft pick to the Maple Leafs in exchange for winger Daniel Winnik and a fifth-round draft pick in 2016.
Laich was placed on waivers by the team Saturday morning, and cleared Sunday afternoon. His $4.5 million cap hit had been an albatross for the team’s finances, considering his significant downturn in production since a groin injury sustained in the 2012 lockout. He was acquired via a 2004 trade that sent Peter Bondra to Ottawa, and had been a favorite throughout both the fanbase for his loyalty to the club and the local press corps for his all-around geniality. He had been the longest-tenured local athlete until Sunday night; that title now belongs to none other than Alex Ovechkin.
Winnik, 30, is a Toronto native and had tallied 14 points (4g, 10 a) in 56 games so far this season with the Leafs. He has 62 goals and 136 assists in 625 career NHL games. He can be described as a reliable fourth-liner with a strong suit for killing penalties.
Carrick appeared in three games for the Capitals this year and 46 for the team’s AHL affiliate in Hershey.
A major implication of the deal is the huge relief of cap space, and the team has a lot more wiggle room heading into Monday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline. The Capitals did not retain any of Laich’s salary.
Incidentally, the Capitals are hosting the Maple Leafs on Wednesday night.
— General Fanager (@generalfanager) February 29, 2016
There was no money retained in the WASH-TOR deal.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) February 29, 2016