From Alzner to Varlamov, we're taking a look at and grading (please read the criteria below) the 2009-10 season for every player who laced 'em up for the Caps for a significant number of games during the campaign, with an eye towards 2010-11. Next up, Quintin Laing.
#53 / Left Wing / Washington Capitals
Jun 08, 1979
UFA ($500,000 cap hit in 2009-10)
Key Stat: At 30-years-old, Laing spent the entirety of the 2009-10 campaign in the NHL (with the exception of a brief conditioning stint), the first time he has done so in his career.
Interesting Stat: Both of Laing's goals came in the third period of tied games.
The Good: Laing doubled his single-season career high in goals in 2009-10 and he was well-disciplined (taking only one minor penalty in 36 games other than the instigator and unsportsmanlike conduct he received in St. Louis - more on that in a bit), but the real "good" for Quintin Laing starts and ends with his willingness to sacrifice his body for the team. Perfect example of that selflessness from this past season? Dropping the mittens in defense of Matt Bradley after Cam Janssen ran the Caps winger less than two months after missing 14 games with a broken jaw suffered while blocking a shot. Laing also had the most hits-per-minute of any player on the team - yes, more than Alex Ovechkin.
The Bad: Laing's offensive contributions continue to be almost non-existent (Jose Theodore had as many assists on the season), as Q had the fewest points-per-minute and the worst shooting percentage of any Cap forward. His ice time was minimal (he didn't top ten minutes in any game after December 26), and, most disappointing of all, Laing was a terrible penalty killer.
The Vote: Rate Laing below on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) based on his performance relative to his potential and your expectations for the season - if he had the best year you could have imagined him having, give him a 10; if he more or less played as you expected he would, give him a 5 or a 6; if he had the worst year you could have imagined him having, give him a 1.
The Discussion: Should there be a spot on the 2010-11 Washington Capitals' roster for Quintin Laing? What will it take for him to earn a 10 next season?