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Brooks Orpik Retires; NHLPA Tribute

Brooks Orpik has announced his retirement from the National Hockey League. After 15 seasons, he played over 1,000 games and won two Stanley Cups. The 38-year-old defender was known for his physicality and stay at home play. His old-school style will be missed by his teammates and fans.

 Below, is the NHLPA announcement of Orpik’s retirement in a tribute. 

NHLPA Statement:

TORONTO (June 25, 2019)  Brooks Orpik has announced his retirement today from the National Hockey League (NHL) after 15 seasons.

Born in San Francisco, California, but raised in Amherst, New York, the steady defenceman was a well-respected teammate and leader with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals over the course of his career a journey that saw him total 194 points over his 1,035 regular-season games.

Orpik was selected 18th overall in the 2000 NHL Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins before ending his successful collegiate career at Boston College in 2001 by helping his team to an NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Championship. He made his professional debut in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, where he played two seasons with the Penguins’ American Hockey League affiliate. In 2002-03, Orpik made his NHL debut on the road against Toronto Dec. 10, eventually suiting up for six games that season. He would become a regular on Pittsburgh’s blue line the following season in 2003-04, playing in 79 games for the Penguins, during which he would score his first NHL goal.

The six-foot-three, 217-pound defenceman’s leadership and defensive prowess were key contributors to a Penguins team that grew into one of the top teams in the NHL. Ultimately, Orpik would capture the first the Stanley Cup of his career in 2008-09 by playing in all 24 games of the postseason as the Penguins defeated the Detroit Red Wings in a seven-game final.

After 10 seasons in Pittsburgh that established him as a reliable, physical and efficient defender, Orpik signed a five-year deal with the Washington Capitals as an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2014.

Upon joining the Capitals to start the 2014-15 season, Orpik immediately became a focal point of their defence and brought veteran poise and leadership. The highlight of his five seasons in Washington would come in 2017-18, when the Capitals captured the first Stanley Cup in franchise history and the second of Orpik’s career.

Internationally, Orpik proudly represented the United States on a number of occasions, including the IIHF World Junior Championship in 2000, the 2006 IIHF World Hockey Championship and the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympic Games. He was a key member of the 2010 American team that brought home a silver medal from Vancouver.   

Statement from the Washington Capitals: 

“On behalf of the entire Washington Capitals organization, we would like to congratulate Brooks on a terrific NHL career. Throughout his tenure in the league, Brooks epitomized leadership and hard work. He had a tremendous influence on his teammates both on and off the ice and was instrumental in helping us capture our first Stanley Cup. We thank Brooks for the impact he had across the organization and the Washington, D.C., community over the course of five seasons and wish him, his wife Erin, and daughters Harlow and Brooklyn all the best.”

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