Former Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik has been hired as an assistant coach for the Boston College Eagles. Orpik, a two-time Stanley Cup champion, played for Boston College from 1998 through 2001 and won an NCAA title during his final year with the team. Orpik’s family lives near Boston.
According to the Capitals, the 40-year-old will also continue his role in the Capitals’ Player Development Department, where he works with defensive prospects playing for the Hershey Bears.
“Brooks is still with our organization in the same role,” a Capitals spokesman said. “Helping out with BC. Not full time.”
— BC Hockey (@BCHockey) December 12, 2020
In a video released by the Boston College Eagles, Orpik called the coaching gig “a great opportunity” and was “surprised” how much he’s enjoyed working with the team’s players.
The transcription of the video is as followed:
Boston College hockey is a program steeped in tradition so it’s no surprise when alums come back after their playing careers are over to coach the teams they had so much success with. Former BC Eagle Brooks Orpik is the latest. He joins Jerry York’s coaching staff after retiring from the NHL after 19 seasons. During those years, he won two Stanley Cup rings and a silver medal in the 2010 Olympics.
“It’s been great,” Orpik said. “20 years goes by quick so I’m right back here where I started with Coach York.”
“It’s been great having him here,” Boston College head coach Jerry York said. “The level of respect he has from our current student athletes based on watching him on TV and two Stanley Cups. The natty (national championship) he got here at BC is off the charts. He’s a great friend of Brendan Buckley so they really teamed up to help our defense. It’s been exciting for me to watch him assume a coaching role.”
“It’s really rewarding for me,” Orpik said. “I’m just trying to give them anything, like any knowledge or value I can give them and I think it’s been just as rewarding for me. Just kinda seeing how everything works. It’s a great group of kids that Coach York brings in here so they’re really fun to work with.”
“He’s got a great teaching aura about him,” York said. “He can explain things very well. The little nuances of playing defense at a high, high level. All our players want to go to the next level so they understand this is a great segway into that.”
“This is a great opportunity for me,” Orpik said. “I’m definitely grateful for Coach York letting me come in. In terms of a coach and a person, he really, 20 years later, is the exact same guy. I still marvel at his enthusiasm and his energy. I was kind of unsure if I would like to do it or how much I’d like doing it, but maybe I’m surprised. I’ve enjoyed it more than I anticipated.”
The opportunity appears to have presented itself as the NHL and AHL have tried to figure out the terms of its return to play. The NHL appears likely to start the 2020-21 season in mid-January while the AHL is targeting an early February return.
Orpik had been rumored to be a candidate for a Capitals’ assistant coach position on Peter Laviolette’s staff before the head coach hired his longtime lieutenant Kevin McCarthy to run the team’s D.
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