Photo: Marianne Helm
Early Sunday morning, Brooks Laich was dealt to the Toronto Maple Leafs in what was essentially a salary cap dump. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin typed a particularly sweet message to Laich on Instagram immediately after the trade was announced.
“Me and u was together since my 1st year,” Ovechkin wrote. “We make this team together! Im gonna miss u bro good luck to u!!! Gonna miss u!!!”
Since then, Laich flew to Toronto and made his debut Monday night in the Leafs 2-1 loss to the Lightning. Afterwards, Laich said he still had mixed emotions about the trade. “My heart was really there [in DC],” he admitted.
Wednesday night, in a cruel twist, Laich will be forced to revisit his feelings of the deal when Toronto plays the Capitals in Washington.
Ovechkin admitted how weird the situation will be after the Caps’ morning skate, Tuesday.
“It will be kinda strange,” Ovechkin said. “But I’m pretty sure he’s gonna stand on the power play and when we have a power play he’s gonna be PK and I’m gonna shoot him in the foot and laugh about it.”
“Obviously it’s a tough moment for him because I think he wants to stay here and fight for the Cup,” Ovechkin continued. “It’s only me and him was [here] since my first year. Right now it’s only me in the team who’s been since the beginning. I text him, I tried to call him but he was on the plane and I’m pretty sure tomorrow we’re gonna have a conversation and then we’re gonna say ‘thanks, we’re gonna miss you’ and all that kind of stuff. But I think he did a great job for handle the pressure and to be able to play with us like 11 years or 10 years. He’s been a very big part of it.”
Ovechkin went on to explain that he understands hockey is a business, but that this trade in particular affected him more than others.
“Since day one, we’ve been in the same group and very good friends,” Ovechkin said. “It’s hard to see when the people leave for different place. You never know what’s gonna happen tomorrow because everybody wants to improve and everybody wants to get better.”
A photo posted by Alexander Ovechkin (@aleksandrovechkinofficial) on
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