It’s been an exciting few hours for the Washington Capitals. Last night, they bested the Columbus Blue Jackets for the fourth straight time to finish them off in the first round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Now as they look to the second round against Pittsburgh, the National Hockey League has announced Brooks Orpik’s candidacy for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy.
The postseason award is given to the player who “best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community”.
The 37-year-old defenseman from San Francisco, California has been the subject of much criticism among the Washington Capitals fanbase. But regardless of personal opinion, it is well-known that he is regarded as a “locker room leader” and is a key component when it comes to boosting team morale. What might be lesser know, however, is Orpik’s contributions to community within and around the DC area.
In January of 2017, tragedy struck a local hockey team, the Tucker Road Ducks, when a fire broke out and did thousands of dollars in damages to both the team’s equipment and arena. When our Alternate Captain caught word of the tragedy, he didn’t hesitate to organize a donation to help the team get back on its feet. The donation came to fruition during the 2017-18 season with the help of the NHLPA’s Goals and Dreams Fund. Orpik donated the hurting team a whopping 25 brand new sets of hockey gear and equipment, an entirely selfless act.
What’s more, in Feburary, the Kettler Capitals Iceplex hosted its annual Dreams for Kids DC funded skating session known as the Extreme Recess Hockey Clinic. This clinic is a yearly event in which children around the DC area with physical and mental disabilities can join the Washington Capitals on the ice and interact with their heroes. Orpik was heavily involved in the event, alongside a teammates Jay Beagle, Matt Niskanen, and former Capital Taylor Chorney to name a few.
On top of that, Orpik, alongside fellow Caps Devante Smith-Pelly and Madison Bowey would go on to hold number of mini clinics after the event, to further the interactions between the team and its fans. And, Brooks and his wife, Erin Orpik, have helped to organize a charity event to raise money for Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic.
He may not put up goals like Alex Ovechkin, he may not throw hands like Tom Wilson, he may not defend like John Carlson, but Brooks Orpik has a heart of gold and very clearly puts the fans first. He loves the sport of hockey as much as anyone else, and he shows that every day on, and especially off, the ice. Join us now in supporting Orpik’s nomination this week as the Capitals look to face his former team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, in the second round of the playoffs.
For a complete list of King Clancy Memorial Trophy nominees, click here.
By: Chris Laroche