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Report: Brooks Laich to attend Los Angeles Kings camp on PTO

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USA TODAY Sports

Report: Brooks Laich to attend Los Angeles Kings camp on PTO

It looked as if Brooks Laich's career may be coming to an end last season. Stuck in the AHL, Laich expressed his desire to "pursue a Stanley Cup somewhere else." The Toronto Maple Leafs placed him on waivers allowing other teams to claim him, but there were no takers. Finally, his season came to an end in April after elbow surgery. He had played in just 27 AHL games and none in the NHL.

But now it looks as if Laich will be getting another shot to show he can still contribute at the NHL level.

Laich, 34, told Joshua Kloke of The Athletic in February that, "Physically and mentally, I feel as youthful and as energetic as any kid that walks in the door. I feel like I’m younger than the 20-year-old kids. I have passion for the game. You might call me crazy, but I still feel like my best days of hockey are ahead of me. ... I still feel I have many, many years left to play.”

What will certainly help Laich's chances of making a return to the NHL is the fact that he is no longer dealing with a massive contract. In 2011, Capitals general manager George McPhee signed Laich to a six-year, $27 million deal. That $4.5 million cap hit became a hindrance to the Caps leading to the team trading him in 2016. That cap hit was far too high for any team to seriously consider taking a player who had been relegated to the AHL all season last year.

Now Laich will be heading to the Kings camp on a PTO with no guarantees or contract in hand.

Traded to Washington in 2004, Laich spent 12 seasons with the Caps scoring 133 goals and 324 points. He was a solid contributor until a groin injury he suffered while playing overseas during the 2012-13 lockout derailed his career. Prior to that, Laich played in 73 or more games for seven straight seasons with a career-high of 59 points. Since then, he has only played in more than 73 games once and his high in points is 24.

Laich will reportedly have some competition in Los Angeles as the Kings will also over PTOs to Brandon Prust, Chris Lee and Andrei Loktionov.

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A Caps team already without Eller and Niskanen loses Graovac in first period against Toronto

A Caps team already without Eller and Niskanen loses Graovac in first period against Toronto

The Capitals came into Tuesday's game a bit shorthanded with Lars Eller out due to an illness and Matt Niskanen on LTIR. They lost yet another player in the first period as Tyler Graovac out for the rest of the night due to an upper-body injury.

Graovac took two hits from Leafs forward Matt Martin that may have led to the injury. 

RELATED: FIXING 'SWISS CHEESE' DEFENSE NOW A TOP PRIORITY FOR CAPS

Martin gave Graovac a two-handed shove in the back that knocked Graovac to the ice. You can see after the play Graovac doubles back to have a quick word with Martin after the hit.

Graovac took another hit from Martin on his next shift.

This time, Graovac appears to see Martin coming and leans into the check, but took the full brunt of the hit on his left shoulder. He can be seen favoring his left arm/shoulder later before exiting down the tunnel.

Graovac was in Tuesday's lineup centering the third line in place of the sick Eller.

MORE CAPITALS: DON'T MESS WITH TOM WILSON

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JJ vs. the fans: Offense should be easy to come by on Tuesday

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JJ vs. the fans: Offense should be easy to come by on Tuesday

Have you read my three bold predictions and thought to yourself, “I could do better than that guy?” Well, here’s your chance.

Rather than just embarrass myself with how bad my predictions are, I will be going up against the fans to see how you guys stack up!

Let’s take a look at what the fans think will happen Tuesday’s game between the Capitals and the Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m., NBC Sports Washington).

RELATED: HOW TO WATCH CAPS-LEAFS

Fan predictions:

Auston Mathews has five goals in five games. If he keeps that pace up, this seems like a safe bet.

He needs to. Andre Burakovsky has only two points this season which is not what Barry Trotz was hoping for when he gave him the promotion to the top line.

Now this is bold. Tip of the cap to you, sir.

Bonus:

MORE CAPITALS: HOW CAN THE CAPS FIX THEIR 'SWISS CHEESE' DEFENSE?

JJ’s predictions:

Both teams will combine for at least 10 goals

Toronto leads the league with a whopping 5.20 goals per game. The Capitals are not quite that high, but they are in the top ten at 3.67. Oh, and in case you forgot, the Caps just gave up eight goals to a Philadelphia team that does not boast an offense as good as Toronto’s.

Evgeny Kuznetsov will score a goal

Kuznetsov is tied for the league lead in points at 11 (tied with Nicklas Backstrom). What is interesting about those 11 points? None of them are goals. As I am expecting a big night of offense, I expect Kuznetsov to finally call his own number and get one in the back of the net.

Toronto will outshoot Washington by at least 10 shots

The Capitals are last in the NHL in shots per game at 25. Dead last. The Leafs, meanwhile, average 37.4. Braden Holtby is going to have a very busy night.

Want to see your tweet among the fan predictions for the next game? Tweet your prediction to @JJReganNBCS every game day! Remember, we don’t just want to know who will win or the score, we want to see specifics. Be bold!