From The Ice

Brooks Laich still deciding when to play with Marlies

April 6, 2016: Columbus Blue Jackets Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (72) [6354] makes a save in front of Toronto Maple Leafs Left Wing Brooks Laich (23) [2553] during the game between the Toronto Maple Leafs game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, ON. (Photo by Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire)

The Toronto Maple Leafs acquired veteran two-way forward Brooks Laich from the Washington Capitals at the 2016 trade deadline.

To start the 2016-17 season, though, he was waived by the Atlantic Division club. Now, he’s cleared waivers – and been reassigned to the AHL’s Toronto Marlies – but hasn’t yet played. So what’s going on there?

TSN’s Kristen Shilton gave an update on Wednesday:

“We’re talking to him,” Shilton tweeted via Marlies head coach Sheldon Keefe, “talking with the Leafs as well. [We’ll] make the decision on what’s the right situation for him, what’s the right situation for us.

We’ve got three games this weekend. We’ll sort through things. He’ll practice [on Thursday] and we’ll make our lineup from there.”

Shilton confirmed that the Leafs, the Marlies, and Laich are all working together to make the decision as to when to put him into the lineup, determining where the veteran should play based on what’s best for both him and the team.

A former sixth round pick of the Ottawa Senators from the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, Laich was dealt to the Capitals in 2004 and spent the majority of his career playing in the United States capital. He’s been good for 134 goals and 331 points through 764 career NHL games, serving as a quality defensive forward with scoring prowess during the last decade.

Last year, though, the 33-year-old put up just two goals and 14 points – a far cry from the 20-plus goal seasons of his past. That decline is part of why the Leafs and Laich are having trouble determining where he should be in the system this year.

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