There are a few themes that get touched on regularly throughout the comments here and I think this question does a nice job of tying them together. The two broad themes are: when will the Caps win a Cup, and will Laich be the next Captain. Tied into those themes are several issues that make this question fun to think about (for me).
The first issue you have to resolve is how well you think the Caps will do this year. This can play out 2 ways, either the Caps win the Cup or they don't.
Scenario 1: The Caps win the Cup
If they win the Cup Laich probably won't be the first player to touch the Cup. The Captain receives the Cup from Bettman, Laich is not the Captain, so Laich won't get the Cup. However, the Caps haven't had Clark in the lineup for most of the past two seasons, and haven't given anyone else the 'C' during that time, opting to dress 3 'A's. Poti and Fedorov generally wear an A when they are in the lineup, but both have had durability issues this year. The playoffs are brutal and it is definitely possible that one of those guys won't last (do we even have a shot to win without one of them?). That means Laich could get an A, and, without a C in the lineup, possibly be the first player to touch the Cup. If Clark comes back healthy and helps us make a run for the Cup, then whether or not Laich gets an A is immaterial, since Clark will be wearing the C.
Scenario 2: The Caps lose in the playoffs
If you don't think the Caps are going to win the Cup this year, then you have to determine a couple of other things. Chris Clark has 2 years left on his deal, and unless he is bought out or is traded the Caps would have to strip him of the C to give it to Laich. That seems very unlikely to me, so as long as Clark is still a Capital I believe he will wear the C. Laich very well could be the Captain after Clark's contract runs up, but if the Caps win the Cup in any of the next 3 playoff seasons, Clark will be the first Cap to kiss the Cup (while wearing a Caps jersey). So if the Caps aren't ready now, when do you think they will be ready? With several players with high cap hits and a potential drop in the cap limit, most of our improvements are going to have to be home grown. Do you think the prospects we have will be ready to fill the current holes in the Caps' lineup by the 2011 playoffs (the last year of Clark's contract)? If not, then who becomes the Captain in 2011-12, and will we win a Cup under his leadership?
So, what do you think, will Brooks Laich be the first Cap to touch the Cup?