Considering he made $4.5 million and played bottom-six minutes, Brooks Laich didn’t give the Caps their money’s worth this season. But 2014-15 was a success in other ways.
|14:43||Average time on ice per game|
|50.7%||Shot attempt percentage during 5v5|
|48.2%||Goal percentage during 5v5|
Laich’s on-ice shot-attempt percentage in 10-game running segments, according to War on Ice:
There’s a story here, and it’s a compelling one, but we need to start with an obvious truth: Brooks Laich’s contract is bad. He’ll earn 4 million dollars in each of the next two seasons, and his performance hasn’t come close to justifying that. He’s paid like an above-average top sixer, but Domenic Galamini’s HERO chart says he’s something else.
Just like your eyes, the numbers say Laich has been playing like a bottom sixer, and not a particularly good one. Out of 413 forwards who played 30+ games, Laich is ranked 378th in Goals Versus Salary– the bottom 8th percentile.
Bad contract, disappointing performance.
And yet, I consider Brooks Laich’s 2014-15 season to be a success– if only because he’s proved the devastating groin injury he suffered with the Kloten Flyers back in November of 2012 is finally behind him. He didn’t quite become the iron man I predicted and hoped he would, missing a spat of games due to a shoulder injury in the fall, but every game since then was proof that Laich’s groin problems are behind him.
That’s immensely important. Laich’s reputation since 2012 has been all about his injuries, but that reputation is incorrect. He hasn’t had injuries, he’s had an injury– one very bad injury that cost the player some of his best years and his team a lot of its money. I think 2014-15 has proved that the injury is now truly behind Brooks. That’s a victory from a sports perspective and sports business perspective, but I think it’s most important from a human perspective. Imagine living most of the past two years with the expectations of a troubled franchise in addition to chronic pain.
The nagging pain and the nagging worry are now gone. Now Brooks can focus in 2015-16 on becoming the player he was meant to become. He’ll never live up to that contract, but he’s got good days ahead of him.
— Ovie the Bulldog (@OvietheBulldog) February 15, 2015
Here’s the obvious question: do you agree with my characterization that this was a good season for Brooks? Is it such a thing impossible given his contract?
What would you like to see for BL21 in the last two years of his contract?
Read more: Japers Rink
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