Brooks Laich has been around the block a few times by now. He's 32 years old; this is his 11th season in the NHL. He's been on terrible Capitals teams; he's been on incredible, seemingly Stanley Cup-bound ones. (Including this year's, before he was whiplashed from the top of the standings to the bottom.) He knows what's going on.
Which will make him helpful for taking the futures of the Toronto Maple Leafs under his wing - including his apparent new nephew, William Nylander.
Brooks Laich on William Nylander: "I played with his dad. Maybe that makes he his uncle. He can call me Uncle Brooks" #TMLTalk— Kevin McGran (@kevin_mcgran) March 2, 2016
Michael Nylander closed out his NHL career with the Washington Capitals, playing 112 games for them from 2007-2009. Those were Laich's third and fourth full years on the team, so they definitely got to know each other back when William was just a kid - something Laich remembers.
Laich on Nylanders: At family-team function, (Nylander's) kids - 6 kids - would just walk in. It was like a grenade, they'd go everywhere.— Kevin McGran (@kevin_mcgran) March 2, 2016
Laich on Nylander: I remember William, the oldest one, cute little blond guy, just a bobblehead walking around. #TMLTalk— Kevin McGran (@kevin_mcgran) March 2, 2016
Now, does Nylander remember Laich? Even if he doesn't from back then, considering they both made their Toronto Maple Leafs debuts together, he'll definitely remember him now, as they grow and work through this crazy thing known as professional hockey in Toronto - together.
What a lovely family story.