Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen will be back in Pittsburgh on December 27th, 2014 to face off against their former team and teammates. For Orpik, making the switch and coming over to the Washington Capitals was, for him, a “no-brainer”. It also seemed that way for the Washington Capitals as well. Brian MacLellan, the quarterback for this whole thing, was looking at Orpik from the start. Before a back-up goalie was looked at or even looking at getting another defenseman in Niskanen, Orpik was the man that they wanted.
Orpik is a big blue-liner that plays a very physical game and is considered one a top shut down defenseman in the league. Looking at it this way, without the numbers attached, Brooks Orpik was a needed guy on the blue-line for the Capitals. He will fit in well with Trotz’s game plan and he knows that the Capitals are almost to breaking through to getting to that coveted Stanley Cup Playoffs.
“I’m lucky enough to say that I’ve won a Stanley Cup already, but that was probably the biggest factor, knowing there’s a real strong hunger in this group and they’re not far away from winning. They just need a little direction and I think Barry and some of the people he brought in will definitely provide that”.
Knowing that the Capitals are this close to the breaking through and with the additions of both Orpik and Niskanen, the Capitals have added a defensive depth that they need. What they do with Green will be closely watched at this point as they are close to the cap as far as number go after the first day of free agency. Mike Green has been looked at by the Capitals and they are looking to bring him back to form and not looking to trade. I personally think that they should trade Green and move a little younger with a little bit less in the money, but that is me. I am excited to see what happens.