While the Washington Capitals center might not be a household name to many celebrity watchers, hockey fans know he’s far more than just arm candy for the former Dancing with the Stars pro (although he fills that role quite well.)
And while we’re still foggy on his dancing skills, it’s clear the 32-year-old has much more to offer than just a chiseled physique.
What to know about the NHL star?
1. He’s a Canadian native.
Like so many hockey pros, Laich’s hockey chops were honed in his native Canada. He grew up in the small Saskatchewan town of Wawota, where his father, Harold, served as his coach all through childhood, Brooks states on his official website. Last year, Laich Tweeted a warm photo of himself with his arm around his dad, writing, “So cool to be able to share tonite’s victory in Montreal with my dad, 30 years of sharing this great game! #grateful.”
2. He owes actor Teddy Sears big time for introducing him to Hough.
Laich counts Sears, who stars on Showtime’s Masters of Sex, as a pal, often getting into spirited Tweeting sprees with the actor. But, in an interview with D.C radio station 106.7 The Fan, Laich revealed that it was Sears who introduced him to Hough. “On set, apparently, [Sears] was talking with Julianne and then asked her if she’d been seeing anyone, and she said no or whatever,” Laich recalls. “And I guess he was watching our hockey game on Game Center on his iPad. I guess he just showed her the iPad and said, ‘Well I’ve got a guy for you,’ or something.”
“She’s a cool, cool gal,” Laich gushed about Hough on the radio show, admitting he’d never seen an episode of Dancing with the Stars. “She’s just a sweetheart, very loving, very giving. She puts so much great out into the world. I’m a pretty lucky guy.”
3. He’s a fan of (semi-)classic rock and country music – and he plays guitar!
Forget the latest pop tunes, Laich has made it clear his musical tastes don’t exactly jive with the of-the-moment hits. “The @iTunesMusic top 200 songs list is a joke right now, where has all the good music gone??,” he Tweeted in January 2014. He answers that question himself in a December 2013 Tweet: “We Were Us – @KeithUrban ft @mirandalambert. Just love country music….every beat, every line, every word, every time.”
Besides country, the guitar-playing athlete also appreciates rock songs from the ’90s and early ’00s. Last January, he Tweeted a glimpse into his musical preferences: “Some underrated tunes en route to the airport today, Hold Me Up by Live, American Psycho by Misfits, Little Bit More by Tony C & The Truth!!”
4. He’s an avid golfer.
Sure, he spends most of his time wielding a hockey stick on the ice, but in his free time he’s quite happy to swing a set of clubs on a golf course. He lists golf as one of his hobbies on his official NHL players page and names Tiger Woods – rather than a fellow hockey player – as his favorite athlete.