Brooks Orpik will be staying with the Washington Capitals after all. The veteran defenseman retired from his playing days earlier this offseason, but will join the Capitals’ Player Development department, working with prospects and players from the Hershey Bears. GM Brian MacLellan explained why he hired one of his former players:
As a member of our team, Brooks was a tremendous leader and a great role model for our young players. We are excited to be able to bring him back in this new role. We feel he will be a great resource for our hockey staff and our prospects.
Orpik, 38, played the last five seasons of his career with the Capitals and took home his second Stanley Cup in 2018. A first-round pick that took a few years to really find his way in the NHL, he’ll be able to relate to many of the team’s top prospects that are trying to get to the highest level. Never much of an offensive threat, Orpik still managed to carve out an excellent playing career that included two selections for the Olympics and more than 1,000 regular season NHL games.
In June he explained that his body simply couldn’t take another season, but it comes as little surprise that “Batya” as his Washington teammates called him, wants to stay involved in the game. Orpik will obviously be starting in a smaller role, but a future in the front office or coaching seems like a natural progression for the big defenseman.