Photo: Sporting News
The Colorado Avalanche have put defenseman Brooks Orpik for purposes of buying out the final year of his contract.
Orpik on waivers.
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) June 23, 2018
The Avalanche acquired Orpik along with goaltender Philipp Grubauer from the Washington Capitals in exchange for the No. 47 pick in the second round during the NHL Draft on Friday. Orpik will become an unrestricted free agent July 1.
According to Capfriendly.com, buying out Orpik’s contract would cost $2.5 million.
Capitals’ GM Brian MacLellan said yesterday following Round 1 of the NHL Draft that the team would be open to bringing Orpik back if the Avalanche buy him out. He would remain in a role on the third pairing.
If Orpik gets bought out, he could technically reunite with the Caps on a new deal. MacLellan said he would be open to that. He’d still be in a third-pairing role, of course.
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) June 23, 2018
The Capitals used the pick to select right wing Kody Clark of the Ontario Hockey League’s Ottawa 67’s. Clark, 18, recorded 18 goals and 39 points in 56 games for Ottawa in 2017-18. He had a plus-minus rating of +7. The 6’1” 179-pound right winger posted 25 goals and 50 points in 113 games in his career at Ottawa and had a +/- rating of -10.
Putting Orpik on waivers is the first step toward buying him out.
The Capitals signed him to a five-year contract worth $27.5 million ($5.5 million AAV) in 2014 as an unrestricted free agent. Orpik, 37, posted 53 points (three goals) and 830 hits in 279 career games with the Capitals. He was signed by Washington after spending 14 years in the Pittsburgh Penguins organization.
The Penguins selected Orpik 18th overall in 2000. In 982 career NHL games, Orpik tallied 16 goals and 185 points and is a +71. In 149 career playoff games, Orpik recorded three goals and 24 points and is a +13.
In the 2017-18 regular season, Orpik had 10 assists and a -9 rating, the worst among Capitals’ skaters. During the playoffs, Orpik recorded a goal and five points along with a +17 rating, which led the Capitals. In 2016-17, Orpik led the Capitals with a +32 rating and was fifth in the NHL in that category. He was also an alternate captain in Washington for all four years of his tenure with the Capitals.
By Harrison Brown