Caps’ Brooks Laich hangs with Julianne Hough

NEW YORK, NY- MAY 7: Washington Capitals center Brooks Laich (21) celebrates after scoring during the second period of Game 5 of the NHL Eastern Conference Semi Finals at Madison Square Garden on Monday, May 7, 2012. (Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)
Capitals player Brooks Laich celebrates after scoring during the second period of Game 5 of the NHL Eastern Conference Semi Finals at Madison Square Garden in 2012. (Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

Capitals player Brooks Laich has been spending some of his off-ice time during the break for the Olympic winter games with triple threat dancer-actress-singer Julianne Hough. Paparazzi snaps showed the two in classic cute-couple mode on Sunday, holding hands while out for a walk in Studio City, Calif.

Hough made her name as one of the professional hoofers on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” and also has released several country albums and appeared in movies, including a starring role in the big-screen adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’s “Safe Haven.”

Hough previously dated ubiquitous showbiz producer and host Ryan Seacrest. But Laich, who has some down time while a handful of his teammates compete in Sochi, isn’t the only iceman she’s teamed up with: She danced with speedskater Apolo Ohno all the way to the “DWTS” season four championship.

So does the cozy stroll spell romance for Hough and Laich? A Caps rep gave us the old “no comment,” and we didn’t hear back from her people.

Could be she’s just a fan. She posted pics of herself on Instagram wearing a red Caps jersey (and matching crimson lipstick) at what looks to be  the Caps-Rangers game at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 19 (alas, her team lost 4-1).

And it seemed, at least, that Laich was feeling some love a few days earlier:

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.
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Emily Heil | February 17