Laich, McPhee Outtakes

Posted on January 14, 2013 by Mike Vogel

In the process of my exclusive one-on-one interviews with Brooks Laich and George McPhee on Monday, there were a number of quotes that I didn’t use in today’s contract extension story on, but which you may find interesting or useful. Or not. Regardless, here they are. McPhee on whether he thought the $3.9 million bump in the NHL’s salary cap for the upcoming season had a positive effect on getting the deal done: “It helped. Because in order to build a good team, you have to be careful about how you distribute the dollars and you can’t over-commit in certain areas. The fact that the cap went up helped us with Brooks and the fact that Brooks can play center ice was a big factor. “Centers are really hard to find in this league, and we expect Brooks to play a lot more at center ice this year. If you’re strong down the middle as we expect to be, then I think your chances of winning are greater. If you’re making the commitment we made to someone who just plays the wing, that’s one thing. But in this case we’re paying for a guy who we believe will spend a lot more time at center. With that size and speed, we believe he could be a difference maker going forward.” Nashville’s David Legwand inked an identical deal (six years, $27 million), but he signed that pact early in the 2007-08 season when the cap was a good bit lower than it is now. McPhee on some of the comparable deals in the league: “You look at some of the contracts for the Hartnells or the Michaleks that were done a few years ago, and they were the comparables that we used and we got more comfortable with them the longer the process went. You get to a point where both sides can live with the deal and you get it done.” “You’re not always going to measure the value of this player in points. But he gets enough points where you’re okay. We can expect 50 points a year from this guy, and in a good year he is going to get us 25 goals.” Laich on the prospect of playing his natural center position more frequently this season: “I’ve learned to not expect a whole lot. I’ve learned to come to the rink and know that I am going to play and whatever position that is, I play it as hard as I can. I enjoy playing the wing. I’ve always considered myself a centerman. If he wants me at center, great, I look forward to that opportunity. But in the offseason when I am doing my skating in preparation for the season, I prepare for all situations, not just for center or for left wing because I think that pigeonholes you a little bit. I think the versatility has been a strength of mine and I think it has allowed me to play a lot more minutes than if I was strictly a one-position player. Laich on the addition of Troy Brouwer over the weekend: “I liked it. I really like that move. I like that Brouwer kid. I stood up and cheered when I saw it come across. Him and I were linemates in Moose Jaw in training camp one year. I think Troy was a 15-year-old or a 16-year-old and I was 18. We played together in training camp, then he got cut and two months later I got traded to Seattle. I have known him in the past. It was a few years ago, but I’ve always liked him. I think he’s going to be great for us.”

next up:

Caps Swap Varlamov to Avalanche

January 14, 2013

Washington’s logjam of talented young goaltenders was eased a bit on Friday when the Caps announced that they’ve traded netminder Semyon Varlamov to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for a first-round choice in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and a second-round selection in either 2012 or 2013. The


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