The Washington Capitals announced on Tuesday that 38-year-old defender Brooks Orpik has retired. “I’ve been extremely lucky to have the best job in the world for many years, but my body is telling me it is time to move on to something new,” says Orpik in a press release.
In 15 seasons, Orpik played 1,035 NHL games, 332 of them with the Capitals, the team with whom he won the Stanley Cup in 2018. Orpik scored the first game-winning goal in a Cup final in Washington Capitals franchise history. He retires a legend.
Brooks Orpik has announced his retirement today from the National Hockey League (NHL) after 15 seasons.
Born in San Francisco, California, but raised in Amherst, New York, the steady defenceman was a well-respected teammate and leader with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals over the course of his career – a journey that saw him total 194 points over his 1,035 regular-season games.
“I’ve been extremely lucky to have the best job in the world for many years, but my body is telling me it is time to move on to something new,” said Orpik. “I’m excited for more family time and to experience a lot of the things that being a professional athlete forces you to miss out on. Thank you to the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins for giving me the opportunity to play against the best athletes in the world. I’ll be forever grateful for the memories and relationships that hockey has given me.”
Orpik was selected 18th overall in the 2000 NHL Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins before ending his successful collegiate career at Boston College in 2001 by helping his team to an NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Championship. He made his professional debut in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, where he played two seasons with the Penguins’ American Hockey League affiliate. In 2002-03, Orpik made his NHL debut on the road against Toronto Dec. 10, eventually suiting up for six games that season. He would become a regular on Pittsburgh’s blue line the following season in 2003-04, playing in 79 games for the Penguins, during which he would score his first NHL goal.
The six-foot-three, 217-pound defenceman’s leadership and defensive prowess were key contributors to a Penguins team that grew into one of the top teams in the NHL. Ultimately, Orpik would capture the first the Stanley Cup of his career in 2008-09 by playing in all 24 games of the postseason as the Penguins defeated the Detroit Red Wings in a seven-game final.
Read more about Brooks Orpik’s retirement
– Retiring Brooks Orpik couldn’t walk up stairs after midseason knee surgery: ‘I didn’t want to play through the pain’ anymore
– Leader, role model, and warrior: Capitals players salute retiring Brooks Orpik on social media
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