Photo: BC Interruption
The Washington Capitals signed defenseman Brooks Orpik to a one-year contract worth $1 million, the team announced on Tuesday afternoon.
Orpik, 37, tallied 10 assists and a -9 rating in 81 regular season games and one goal, five points, and a +17 rating in 24 playoff games. Orpik was last on the Capitals in +/- during the regular season but led the NHL in that category during the playoffs.
Orpik was traded along with goaltender Philipp Grubauer to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for a 2018 second-round pick in an effort to clear cap space to re-sign defenseman John Carlson to an eight-year contract worth $64 million ($8 million AAV). Carlson, who led all NHL defensemen with 64 points last season, could have become an unrestricted free agent July 1.
The Avalanche bought out the final year of Orpik’s five-year $27.5 million ($5.5 million AAV) the following day.
The Capitals signed Orpik as an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2014, after spending eight seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Orpik has been an alternate captain on the Capitals all four years of his tenure in Washington and could wear it again this upcoming season.
As a Capital the past four seasons, Orpik recorded 53 points (three goals) and 830 hits in 279 games and seven points (one goal) in 47 playoff games with the team. Orpik has a +39 career regular season rating and a +12 career playoff rating with the Capitals. He led the NHL with a +32 rating during the 2016-17 season.
Orpik won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2009 before winning it with the Capitals this past season.
He will likely play on the third pairing with defenseman Christian Djoos this season, where he played last year.
The Capitals have $6,265,705 remaining in cap space with only forward Tom Wilson, who tallied 14 goals, 35 points, and a +10 rating in 78 regular season games and five goals, 15 points, and a +11 rating in 21 playoff games left to sign. Wilson, 24, is a restricted free agent and did not elect for salary arbitration.
From Capitals’ Media Release:
The Washington Capitals have signed defenseman Brooks Orpik to a one-year contract, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today. Orpik’s contract will carry an average annual value of $1 million. In addition, the contract includes $500,000 of potential performance bonuses.
“Brooks has been a valuable player and a great mentor for our young players and we are thrilled to bring him back to our organization,” said MacLellan. “We feel his leadership and competitiveness on and off the ice will be welcomed back to our group.”
Orpik, 37, led the Capitals with 168 blocked shots and ranked second on the team, and first among Washington defensemen, with 218 hits in 2017-18. He recorded 10 points (0g, 10a) in 81 regular-season appearances and five points (1g, 4a) in 24 postseason contests. The 6’3″, 217-pound defenseman has recorded 53 points (3g, 50a) and 830 hits in 279 games with the Capitals.
The San Francisco, Calif., native has registered 185 points (16g, 169a) in 982 career regular-season games and 24 points (3g, 21a) in 149 playoff outings. He’s a two-time Stanley Cup champion, also winning with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009, an Olympic silver medalist (Team USA, 2010) and has also won an NCAA national championship (Boston College, 2001). Orpik ranks first among defensemen in Penguins history in games played (703) and was named the team’s Defensive Player of the Year on three occasions (2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12).
By Harrison Brown