Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik played in his 1,000th career NHL game Monday night against the St. Louis Blues. Orpik became the 330th all-time player, 114th defenseman and 22nd active player to play in 1,000 NHL games. As a result, the Capitals honored his achievement Friday night at Capital One Arena prior to the Islanders game.
Part of the pre-game ceremony included a tribute video for Brooks (full video here). The video featured many of Orpik’s teammates, past and present, including Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, T.J. Oshie, Tom Wilson and Matt Niskanen from the current Capitals team, as well as messages from past teammates, including Sydney Crosby, Jay Beagle former head coach Barry Trotz. Orpik’s tribute also included a message from Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder. Wait, what?
If you were like me, and many others, you were left thinking that was a pretty sweet ceremony…but how the hell does Brook Orpik know Eddie Vedder? It seems I wasn’t the only one.
Asked Brooks Orpik if Caps might be fatigued from all of the extra hockey they played in the past year. “No. That’s an easy excuse.”
(He also said he knows Eddie Vedder through Theo Epstein and baseball people, which only leaves me with more questions.)
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) January 19, 2019
We also agree with Isabelle, it raises a whole new list of follow-up questions. Here’s our best guess. Before becoming the General Manager for the Chicago Cubs, a team Eddie Vedder is a hard corp fan of, Theo Epstein was the GM for the Boston Red Sox, Orpik’s hometown team. There may have been a connection developed at that time. Regardless, pretty cool. Props Brooksie!
The full ceremony: