The Washington Capitals desperately need a shut-down defenseman if they want to compete next season. The best shut-down defenseman on the free agent market? Current Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik. Let’s take a look at him.
THE GOOD ABOUT BROOKS ORPIK
- You want someone who’s a responsible stay-at-home defenseman? Brooks Orpik’s your man. Orpik is very strong defensively and has terrific instincts.
- The Capitals PK was bad. REALLLLLLY bad. That has to change. Orpik was a staple of the Penguins’ fifth ranked penalty kill, logging the most PK minutes of any Penguins’ defenseman.
- Orpik has a physical presence that the Capitals blue liners (excluding John Erskine) lack.
- Orpik has proven to be quite durable. Excluding his first season (2002-2003) and the shortened season in 2013, he has played in at least 60 games in each of his 11 NHL seasons. That’s quite impressive for a defenseman.
THE BAD ABOUT BROOKS ORPIK
- Brooks Orpik brings very little to the table on offense. He scored just 13 points (two goals, 11 assists) in 2013-2014.
- Orpik is old. He’ll be turning 34 in September. Yes, Orpik has been incredibly durable despite hisphyOne has to question how much longer he can play, especially given his physical style of play.
- Orpik is a below-average skater. He’s slow and not very quick. Granted, when you’re a stay-at-home defenseman, speed and quickness aren’t necessary qualities. But still, another concern that has to be weighed.
THE VERDICT ABOUT BROOKS ORPIK
I think that Brooks Orpik would be a great fit for the Capitals. I’d be a fan of an Orpik and Mike Green pairing because they complement each other very well and make up for each other’s weaknesses pretty well. Orpik would allow Green to play up in the offensive zone and Green would help to compensate for Orpik’s lack of offense. Regardless of the system that the Capitals run, signing Orpik to a two or three year deal would make a lot of sense for the Capitals. He’d provide the Capitals blue liners with some much needed experience and physical experience.
Do you think the Capitals should sign Brooks Orpik? Let your opinion be heard in the poll! As always, feel free to let me know what you think in the comments!