Justin Cox is the talented graphic designer for the Colorado Rockies. But on Tuesday, he turned his powers towards hockey.
In honor of Brooks Orpik’s recent retirement, Cox designed Brooks Orpik’s name and number onto an Avalanche banner in honor of his two days of Very Important Service to his favorite hockey team. “Raise 44 to the rafters,” Cox wrote on Twitter.
As of publishing, Cox has gotten nearly 600 retweets and likes combined on his design.
— Justin Cox (@justin_coxy) June 25, 2019
Orpik spent nearly 48 hours with the Avalanche last summer after the Capitals sent the bruising defender to Denver along with Philipp Grubauer for salary cap relief. General manager Joe Sakic had no interesting in keeping Orpik on the team so he bought out the two-time Stanley Cup champion. Weeks later, Orpik re-signed with the Capitals and played 53 games during his swan song in the NHL.
“There’s just been an ongoing joke about Orpik around the Avs community about him being an ‘Avalanche legend’ every time his name came up in the past year since he was only on our ‘roster’ for two days,” Cox said. “His retirement just seemed like a fun opportunity to be a little lighthearted about it. I’ve always loved Orpik as a player and truly would have loved to see him take the ice on our team, even if only for a season.”
This continues a gag among Avalanche fans that has been running since last summer.
When the Capitals traveled to Colorado in February, an Avalanche fan, wearing a customized Avs Orpik jersey, held up a sign during warmups that said “Avs legend Brooks Orpik”.
Orpik saw the fan pregame and got a kick out of the tribute.
Asked Brooks Orpik (jokingly) this morning if he had any emotions facing his former team (Colorado) on Thursday. He said he saw someone in stands wearing an Orpik Avalanche jersey.
(I think he said he got a photo of it from someone)
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) February 10, 2019
Many Avalanche fans saluted Orpik’s career highlights with the Avalanche on Twitter after his retirement was announced.
Congrats on an incredible career, Colorado Avalanche legend Brooks Orpik https://t.co/7bJUNmyz1A
— Patrick (@Elessar010) June 26, 2019
Best of luck in whatever comes next for Avalanche legend, Brooks Orpik. https://t.co/rR7LKttpOm
— Justin Losacco (@justinlosacco) June 25, 2019
— ルーベン (@spaceruben) June 25, 2019
So when Brooks Orpik’s inducted into the American Hockey Hall of Fame, we hope his plaque doesn’t include two teams. We hope it includes three.
Pittsburgh Penguins – 2002-2014
Washington Capitals – 2014-2018
Colorado Avalanche – June 22, 2018 – June 24, 2018
Washington Capitals – 2018-2019
Because those two days with Colorado were very meaningful to Avalanche fans.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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