Over the summer, Brooks Orpik was traded to the Colorado Avalanche and then bought out by general manager Joe Sakic. Once the Capitals re-signed him, the organization received scrutiny from the NHL over their cap-clearing maneuver.
In a wide-ranging interview with 106.7 The Fan, Orpik explained that the league gagged him from speaking about the trade.
“I can’t really talk about much to be honest with you. It’s kind of like an agreement with the league that I’m not really allowed to talk much about it,” Orpik said, citing an NHL investigation into the matter that MacLellan first brought up last week.
“There was a lot of stuff behind the scenes that didn’t really have much to do with hockey that factored into me coming back here,” Orpik said. “Mine was more a family decision, more than it was a hockey decision. That’s something that I kind of had to talk to the league about.”
That information proved critical because in a seperate interview, Capitals GM Brian MacLellan stated his belief that other teams initiated the review after Orpik received multiple offers.
Both the Capitals and Orpik feel that the controversy was initiated by another team, if not multiple teams. “I would assume there are some teams are involved,” is all MacLellan would allow.
The hunch here is that the Penguins were one of those teams. Perhaps former head coach Barry Trotz and his new team, the Islanders, were as well?
According to the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement, when a team buys a player out they cannot immediately re-sign him to try and cut costs. Because Orpik was bought out by the Avalanche, not the Caps, he was able to re-sign with DC.
Let’s be clear: 106.7 The Fan is insinuating that the Penguins or Islanders were contenders for the Orpik sweepstakes this summer, not MacLellan or Orpik.
But MacLellan’s accusation that other teams reached out to the NHL to investigate the trade only to have the Capitals be cleared later has massive implications for the upcoming season.
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