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Brooks Laich wants trade if Maple Leafs don't have use for him

Patrick McDermott / National Hockey League / Getty

Brooks Laich wants back in the NHL, whether it's with the Toronto Maple Leafs or elsewhere.

The veteran forward, left to ride buses with the Toronto Marlies while the Maple Leafs carry a heavy complement of rookie forwards, indicated Sunday that he would like to be dealt before the March 1 trade deadline if Lou Lamoriello and Mike Babcock don't intend to call him up.

"My focus is still in this organization and playing for the Maple Leafs," Laich told Joshua Kloke of The Athletic. "The decision is up to them, but if they don't see me in their plans going forward towards the playoffs then I would like the opportunity to chase a Stanley Cup with another organization."

Laich was dealt to the Maple Leafs before the deadline last season in the trade that brought Connor Carrick to Toronto. He appeared in 21 games, transitioning from the President's Trophy-winning Washington Capitals to a team that earned the most tickets at the draft lottery with its last-place finish.

Exceeded by top pick Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and the former Marlies that brought so much success to the minor-league outfit last season, Laich has not been with the Maple Leafs since training camp.

He's been limited to 22 games after missing two months with an undisclosed injury.

Laich is in the final season of a contract that pays him $4.5 million annually.

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