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Brooks Laich of the Washington Capitals celebrates with teammates after scoring in the first period against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Verizon Center on February 6, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Brooks Laich of the Washington Capitals celebrates with teammates after scoring in the first period against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Verizon Center on February 6, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

Laich staying with Capitals Add to ...

Strike the name Brooks Laich off the list of the NHL's pending unrestricted free agents.

The Washington Capitals will announce Tuesday that the centre has signed a six-year contract extension worth a total of $27-million.

"Washington was easily my first choice," Laich said in a release on the team's website. "I gave my agent instructions that I fully intended to return to Washington and that was my only choice. I wasn't looking to test the market."

Laich, 29, had 48 points (16-32) in 82 games last season.

The deal came together late last week and was done in principle prior to the 2011 Entry Draft this past weekend.

"He's really important to this team," Washington general manager George McPhee said. "This guy is committed. I think lots of other teams were going after him. This is an important guy for us.

"He's on our top penalty killing unit, he can take face-offs, he can play either wing, he can play centre, he's even played shifts on defence, he brings speed to the game and that really helps your transition game and helps you defensively. When a team is playing with pace, it's hard to score on them. And we're not even talking about his size or the offence, or the intangibles; the leadership, the commitment."

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