Capitals sign Orpik: Defenseman bonded with Ovechkin at Olympics while trying to urinate

by Jul 1, 11:20 PM

With the addition of Brooks Orpik via free agency Tuesday, the Capitals welcomed a former foe into the fold; the 33-year-old defenseman spent his entire career with the Pittsburgh Penguins, with whom Washington had a hot rivalry at the peak of the Sidney Crosby / Alex Ovechkin hype-machine.

As such, Orpik now faces the prospect of helping rather than hitting Ovechkin; while he admits it will be "a little different," Orpik said the pair bonded at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi while attempting to urinate for a drug test.

Via Alex Prewitt of The Washington Post:

It'll be a little different. I think we'll probably both be happy about it because we tend to beat on each other pretty good. This might actually be the best thing for both of us. It's funny. I got to know him pretty well at the Olympics. We actually go to do drug testing together after the U.S.-Russia game and neither of us could pee at the time, so we got to spend a couple hours together.

Some say chemistry is the "number one" priority in terms of building a winning team, and Orpik and Ovechkin already seem to have a leg up in that department.

Aug 21, 9:15 AM

Orpik unconcerned with contract criticism: 'Always going to be people that think you’re overpaid'

by Aug 21, 9:15 AM

Hundreds of millions of dollars were handed out to National Hockey League players this summer, but one of the free-agent contracts that attracted the most attention and criticism was the five-year, $27.5-million deal defenseman Brooks Orpik signed with the Washington Capitals.

In a phone interview with The Washington Post, the 33-year-old dismissed the naysayers, affirming both he and the club are well aware of what he can and will bring to the table. 

Whether you make the minimum or $9 million a year, there’s always going to be people that think you’re overpaid. You’re always aware of that. Washington, I think they know me well enough, so they know what they’re getting. There are a lot of younger guys that contracts are given out for potential. I think I’m beyond that phase. I don’t think Washington expects me to all of a sudden be a completely different player. I think they’re giving me the contract … just to continue to be what I’ve been.

As per Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com, Orpik ranked second on the Pittsburgh Penguins in total ice time last season - behind only Matt Niskanen, also signed by the Capitals this summer - recording two goals, 11 assists and a 46.4 Corsi For rating.

Orpik has the confidence of head coach Barry Trotz (see below), and will be counted on to help stabilize the team's blue line.

Jul 7, 6:46 PM

Capitals coach Trotz: Orpik signing will benefit team 'in culture, winning and attitude’

by Jul 7, 6:46 PM

While some have questioned the signing of Brooks Orpik to a five-year, $27.5-million contract, new Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz believes the defenseman will bring something greater to the table than what can be quantified in points or even advanced stats.

"The things that Brooks Orpik does, you can’t put a value on,” Trotz told the Washington Post

Trotz believes the 33-year-old's signing signals a positive turn for the overall culture of the team:

To me, it’s a commitment of ownership and the team saying, you know what, we’re in a good window here, let’s get the players that we want, not the players that we have to settle for, and get him because he can have an effect. And the effect is going to be in goals and assists. It’s going to be in culture and winning and attitude. And that’s what Brooks Orpik does. I listen to some of the stuff. Everybody has their opinion. They can have their opinion. It really doesn’t matter. It’s what we need, what we feel they need.

Whether or not the signing leads to an improvement in overall team defense and a return to the playoffs remains to be seen. Trotz, however, appears to be quite pleased with addition, as he looks to implement a more defensively-minded approach in Washington.

Jul 1, 3:03 PM

Capitals sign Brooks Orpik: GM MacLellan: 'His experience will greatly enhance our defense'

by Jul 1, 3:03 PM

Tap here to access our NHL Tracker, which includes offseason rumors, trades and signings.

The Washington Capitals made a splash on day one of free-agency as they signed veteran defenseman Brooks Orpik.

Senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan told the Capitals Monumental Network:

We are very excited to welcome Brooks to Washington. We feel Brooks’ leadership and experience will greatly enhance our defense for years to come. Brooks plays tough minutes against the opposition's best players.

The five-year, $27.5-million contract signed by Orpik will likely bring him to retirement at the age of 38. In 72 games played, Orpik scored 13 points and played an average of 21 minutes per game.

Jul 1, 1:00 PM

Capitals sign Brooks Orpik to 5-year, $27.5 million contract

by Jul 1, 1:00 PM

Tap here to access our NHL Tracker, which includes offseason rumors, trades and signings.

The Washington Capitals, a one-time fierce rival of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have signed defenseman Brooks Orpik to a five-year, $27.5 million contract

Orpik is a physical defensive defenseman on the downside of his career, but was a U.S. Olympian this past winter. He'll add some experience and bulk to a thin Capitals blue-line. 

You can see more on the Orpik rumors before the deal here.