- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 28, 2011

ARLINGTON, VA. (AP) - Durable two-way center Brooks Laich signed a six-year, $27 million deal with the Washington Capitals on Tuesday, opting to stay with the team rather than test the open market.

Laich was poised to become an unrestricted free agent Friday, but he had stated an inclination to stay in Washington if the team wanted him back.

Laich, 28, was acquired from Ottawa in the Peter Bondra trade in 2004 and has become a steady, vocal presence with the Capitals during their rise from a perennial last-place team to regular Stanley Cup contender.

He has 100 career goals and 137 assists, including 16 goals, 32 assists and a plus-14 rating last season. He led the Capitals with six assists in nine games during the playoffs.

Laich has also played in all 82 regular-season games in three of the last four seasons. The native of Wawota, Saskatchewan, has played in at least 73 games every season since 2005-06 and is second among active Capitals in games played (474).

Laich was in the final days of a three-year, $6.1 million contract signed in 2008.

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