Laich will join Los Angeles for training camp on a professional tryout agreement. A long-term deal for Laich is by no means a guarantee, considering the Kings' depth down the middle, including fellow tryout signee Andrei Loktionov. The 34-year-old Laich has appeared in just 81 games over the past two seasons -- tallying 14 points over that stretch -- so you probably shouldn't be relying on him for fantasy value regardless of whether he sticks with Los Angeles.
Laich (elbow) was on the ice for an informal workout with the Kings on Wednesday, Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider reports, adding that the veteran is expected to garner a professional tryout agreement with the team. Laich publicly expressed his frustration with the Maple Leafs, the last NHL team he played for before going under the knife this past April. Still, even if the Kings issue him a PTO, it wouldn't be wise to put much stock in a guy who has played just 207 games since the 2012 season. He does wear the leadership hat quite well, but that only goes so far in the fantasy realm.
Laich underwent elbow surgery and is rehabbing neither with the Maple Leafs nor the minor-league affiliate Marlies, John Matisz of the Toronto Sun reports. Past reports indicated that the veteran center did not enjoy his experience in Toronto, where he was supposed to mentor a crop of phenoms, including fellow pivot Auston Matthews. Consequently, Laich was placed on waivers and ended up appearing in 27 minor-league games, producing one goal and eight helpers over that span. Judging by his apparent distaste for the Buds and the fact that the team is doing just fine without him, expect Laich to test the open market as an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Laich has been placed on waivers after he told TheAthletic.com this weekend that he either wanted to play for the Leafs or be moved to another NHL team. Laich's agent Roly Thompson doesn't think it's punishment for speaking out, but acknowledges that his client will likely pass through waivers because of his $4.5 million contract. Thompson said Laich's season with the team has been "horrible." Laich was brought in to help provide leadership for the young players on the team, but he became expendable when they matured quickly. Laich will continue to play with the AHL Marlies after he clears waivers Wednesday and will not break contract.
Laich was demoted to AHL Toronto on Tuesday, James Mirtle of The Globe and Mail reports. Laich was a candidate to stay with the team as a veteran mentor but the team will instead elect to save the cap space by sending him to the minors. The 33-year-old appears to be moving towards the end of his career but could still find his way back to the NHL if Toronto goes through anything similar to the onslaught of injuries that had in 2015-16.
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