Brooks Oprik announced his retirement through a Capitals release on Tuesday morning.
During his time in Washington, the hulking defenseman left an indelible impact on his teammates. From his big goals to his big hits, Capitals players looked up to Orpik as a leader, role model, and friend. On social media and in statements released through the team, the Capitals showered Orpik with praise and thanked him for his time in Washington.
“Batya was a great leader in our locker room and was so important for us to win our first Stanley Cup,” Alex Ovechkin said.
“He is a terrific person and a friend,” TJ Oshie said.
“Thanks for always looking after me on and off the ice,” Andre Burakovsky said. “You have been a true friend and role model for me.”
Hockey players can sometimes be inarticulate. This is not one of those times.
“Batya was a great leader in our locker room and was so important for us to win our first Stanley Cup. We will miss his presence in the room and on the ice. Not only was he a great leader and a player, but he was a better person. I’m so happy I had a chance to play with him and for our young guys to have had the chance to learn from him. I want to wish him, Erin and his kids the best. We will miss him and the Batya protein shakes!”
thx for all u do for me and our team!!! we will never get our dreams to come true without u ))))) pic.twitter.com/NspefRoRjl
— Alex Ovechkin (@ovi8) June 26, 2019
“Brooks was one of the best leaders I’ve had the chance to play with in my career. It is difficult to find a better teammate, and a player who worked harder and enjoyed the game as much as Brooks. We all learned from Brooks and he made his teammates better every day. It was a pleasure playing with him and I wish him and his family all the best.”
“Brooks was a great player, leader, warrior and an Olympic Silver Medalist – the type of guy that would always stick up for his teammates, sacrifice his body and do whatever it takes to win. More importantly, he is a terrific person and a friend. Congrats, Batya, on a long and successful career!”
“Brooks was someone that I looked up to from the first day that he got to D.C. I don’t think he ever took a shift off his entire career, nor did he ever take a day off being a great leader. Brooks is truly one of the best in the game of hockey and we will miss having him in our room. Congrats, Orps, and thanks for everything. I’m wishing you, Erin and the girls all the best in the next chapter.”
Truly going to miss you a lot. Thanks for all the help and support during the years. Thanks for always looking after me on and off the ice. You have been a true friend and role model for me. Good luck in the future and wish you and the family all the best. Brooks Orpik!
— andre burakovsky (@andreburakovsky) June 25, 2019
“I had the great opportunity to see up close how impactful Brooks was for our team. Spending time as his defensive partner and playing alongside Brooks was something that I will always cherish. He showed his teammates the importance of hard work, accountability and always being there for your team every time he stepped on the ice. We all learned from Brooks; he was our role model and he made us better. I wish him and his family all the best!”
He added another comment on Twitter.
What a career for a great player and role model to all! Thanks for everything Brooksy! https://t.co/0mLdkwq3aC
— John Carlson (@JohnCarlson74) June 25, 2019
Absolute warrior. Didn’t matter who you were, he always took the time to talk to you and make you feel welcome. A huge leader and role model for everyone in the entire organization. Congrats on a great career Brooks! https://t.co/nleDjFtojR
— Liam O'Brien (@OfficialBigTuna) June 25, 2019
One of the best teammates to ever do it. Absolute beast. Congrats brother https://t.co/QKV6bnnItK
— Michael Latta (@Latta17) June 25, 2019
“On behalf of the entire Washington Capitals organization, we would like to congratulate Brooks on a terrific NHL career. Throughout his tenure in the league, Brooks epitomized leadership and hard work. He had a tremendous influence on his teammates both on and off the ice and was instrumental in helping us capture our first Stanley Cup. We thank Brooks for the impact he had across the organization and the Washington, D.C., community over the course of five seasons and wish him, his wife Erin, and daughters Harlow and Brooklyn all the best.”
Much love, respect and gratitude to Brooks Orpik and his family. I can’t say enough about his leadership, integrity, love of the game, and class. Details here on his retirement. https://t.co/kQkKvB9JZU
— Ted Leonsis (@TedLeonsis) June 25, 2019
— Zach Leonsis (@ZacharyLeonsis) June 25, 2019
— NHLPA (@NHLPA) June 25, 2019
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