Capitals place forward Brooks Laich on waivers

The Washington Capitals placed struggling forward Brooks Laich on waivers Saturday, a move that will clear some salary cap space for the NHL's top team.

Laich is the organization's longest-tenured player but has just one goal and six assists. He is in the midst of a 47-game goal drought.

The 32-year-old has one year left on his contract at a salary-cap hit of $4.5 million. If Laich clears waivers and is assigned to the American Hockey League, the Capitals would get $950,000 in cap space.

Washington needs space to activate forward Jay Beagle off long-term injured reserve following hand surgery. The Capitals are right up against the cap ceiling ahead of Monday's trade deadline.

Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said Thursday that it was difficult to see Laich's play decline in recent years because of injuries. Even though he has a long-term emotional connection to Laich going back to 2004, MacLellan foreshadowed a move coming.

"The business part does kick in," MacLellan said. "There's a point where there's a business decision that needs to be made. That's just what it is. You can't get around it."

Also Saturday, the Arizona Coyotes claimed forward Jiri Sekac off waivers from the Chicago Blackhawks. The Coyotes are Sekac's fourth team in two seasons, following Montreal, Anaheim and Chicago.