Brooks Laich on Chris Clark

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Caught up with Brooks Laich just before Bruce Boudreau and George McPhee addressed the media (comments from them forthcoming). Laich has spent most of his NHL career calling Chris Clark his captain, so here’s what he had to say about him leaving:

“I saw Bruce in the locker room and the first thing I said was, ‘I sat beside that guy in the locker room for five years and now he’s gone,’ ” Laich said. “I’m sad to see him go. A terrific man and a great hockey player — he did so much more for this club even when he was injured than what he got credit for and what people saw.”

Laich is one of several potential candidates to replace Clark as team captain. Alex Ovechkin and Mike Knuble would probably be the other most likely candidates. Both Bruce Boudreau and George McPhee said they will take their time before naming a new captain “out of respect for Clark.”

“I’ve said all along our team isn’t a one-man leadership — we do it by committee,” Laich said. “We have a lot of young guys who learned from the older guys like [Clark]. He’s a great locker room guy, but we have other guys who can do it. We learned how to, almost forcefully, when he was injured. We do it by committee and now someone will have to step up and assume that role.”

I have no great context to put this next quote in. File it under the “Brooks Laich is awesome with the media.”

“[Clark] once looked at his paycheck and said, ‘They pay me too much to do this.’ I said, ‘[Clark] there aren’t many guys in the world who can do what you do and be a captain like you are. It is an honor to play under you.’ He looked at me and said, ‘Just make sure you tell me that once a day from now on.’

“He was a guy who had me at his house for Christmas every year, looked out for his teammates and he was a special guy. We’re going to miss him. He was a great friend. I wish him the best of luck in Columbus. Hopefully he gets a chance to play and can further his career.”

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