American defender Brooks Orpik, whose 18-year pro career saw a pair of Stanley Cups and an Olympic Silver medal, today announced his retirement from pro hockey.
Orpik, Pittsburgh’s first round draft pick in 2000, permanently joined the Penguins in 2003, becoming a punishing physical force on the blueline, racking up 127 penalty minutes in his first season alone. Orpik helped the Penguins become a mid-2000’s dynasty, finally resulting in a Stanley Cup victory in 2009.Joining Washington as a free agent in 2014, Orpik made his physical impact and veteran presence felt on the Capitals, finally helping the Caps overcome their decades of playoff failures with their first franchise Stanley Cup in 2018, Orpik’s second title. Orpik retires with 1,035 games played, 194 career points and 972 penalty minutes, along with 26 points in 156 career playoff games.
Named Brooks after legendary coach Herb Brooks, who just seven months before Orpik’s birth orchestrated the “Miracle on Ice,” it was almost kismet for Orpik to suit up for Team USA, which he first did at the 2000 World Juniors, joining the senior team at the 2006 World Championship. Due to his NHL playoff success Orpik would only play at two more international tournaments, the 2010 and 2014 Olympic Games, where he would win Silver at the former in Vancouver in the Americans’ overtime loss to Canada.
Orpik only won the IHLC once in his career, as the incumbents leading into the 2000 World Junior Championship in Sweden. We wish Brooks and his family the very best for his retirement and the things to come!