Brooks Laich on Dustin Penner


Penner and Alzner. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

Brooks Laich, ultimate speak-no-evil guy that he is, had nothing but praise for newest Capital Dustin Penner on Wednesday morning.

“I’ve played against Dustin for a long time; he’s like an anchor out there, I mean you can’t move the guy,” Laich told the Junkies during his weekly appearance on 106.7 The Fan. “So he brings us some big size and presence and some puck control. Big bodies like that are always, always hard to play against. … I think it makes us tougher, I think it makes us harder to play against….

“So we swap out one more finesse guy [in Martin Erat], which we have a lot of, for another big body that can win you puck battles on the wall and lean on people and tire defenders out, play a possession game,” Laich went on. “He can do a lot of good things for us. … I’ve played against the guy for years and he’s somebody that leans on people. And it’s like jeez, going up against this guy, it’s a frickin’ wall you have to go through.”

Things got more interesting, though, when Laich discussed the occasional perils of deadline dealing.

“You can make a trade, and the guy can come in and totally not work out,” he noted. “And sometimes the chemistry on your team is so good, that if you rock the boat a little bit it just changes the whole complexion of your team. … One thing [the team's front office is] very cognizant of, they want to bring in a player who not only can help the team win but who also is gonna help the locker room and not hinder it. Because you can get one bad apple in there that just stinks like a fart, and just wrecks the whole room or derails it a little bit.”

So naturally, Laich asked whether any such stinkers have arrived in Washington during his tenure.

“To be honest, there’s been one player that came in one time that just rocked the boat a little bit and guys weren’t too sad when he moved on,” Laich said. “His time was very brief, and if it went on for longer maybe guys would have said something. I don’t know. It just wasn’t quite the right fit for our locker room.”

John Auville guessed Joe Corvo; Laich said no, and there the guessing game ended. But clearly we’re allowed to guess. So please name the stinker below.

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.
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Dan Steinberg · March 5

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