Brooks Laich has officially retired from professional hockey.
The announcement may not come as a surprise considering Laich hasn’t played in three years, but in a statement on Instagram, he said, “it’s been a difficult journey for me to finally arrive at the state where I am happy to say the words ‘I am retiring.’”
His statement in part read:
Laich was a key player for the Caps during the Rock the Red era, helping the team return to playoff contention. After 12 years in Washington, he was traded in Feb. 2016 to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Daniel Winnik and a fifth-round draft pick. Laich finished the 2015-16 season with the Maple Leafs, then was sent down to their AHL affiliate for the last year of his contract.
As a free agent in 2017, he signed a professional try-out agreement with the LA Kings during training camp, was released before opening night, then returned on a one-year contract in October as the Kings’ lineup dealt with injuries.
The 12 games Laich played with the Kings would be his last as he was placed on unconditional waivers that November to terminate his contract.
Laich will always be remembered fondly in DC, not only for his accomplishments on the ice but for his generosity off the ice, including stopping to help a mother and daughter when their car broke down on the side of the road after the Caps’ Game 7 loss in 2010 and going viral for leaving an enormous tip for a server at an Arlington restaurant.