On Tuesday night, a day after news broke that Michael Latta would not receive a qualifying offer from the Washington Capitals, I had a lengthy interview with the forward, who is now set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Latta told me that he was caught off guard by the team’s decision to non-tender him, but had nothing but good things to say about his teammates and his time in Washington.
“I was getting texts from everyone,” Latta said when the news dropped. “I wasn’t replying right away to [Tom], so he double, triple, quadruple texted me.”
“I think that’s one of the best things about hockey, the relationships you build,” Latta continued. “Tom and I obviously have become very close and will probably be one of my best friends forever. I’ll take a lot of good things from Washington, like the friendships I’ve built.”
Latta, who according to Hockey Fights has dropped the gloves 106 times in his professional career, will now look for a new team. He’s hoping to find a spot where he can bring energy every night and penalty kill. Depending on where he ends up, Latta could find himself playing against his former Caps teammates next year. It may get very awkward for fans.
Here’s a snippet of our conversation.
One thing I was thinking about, there is now the possibility that you and Tom could actually fight each other in a real game.
Michael Latta: Yeah. I guess so.
Would you ever drop the gloves with Tom Wilson?
Michael Latta: [Laughs] I’ve fought my friends before.
Check back tomorrow for the full interview. Latta explains how he first found out about being let go and where he thinks things went wrong in Washington. He also shares some final tales from rooming with Wilson and also who might replace him in his apartment.
A photo posted by Michael Latta (@latta17) on
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