The Pittsburgh Penguins spent a great deal of time this summer locking up future pieces of their organization. Names like Evgeni Malkin and, somewhat more surprisingly, Kris Letang, each received new deals, as did Chris Kunitz. Yet, one mainstay in this organization went without a new deal.
Brooks Orpik has been as steady a blue line presence as there is in this league in his time with the Penguins. Set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer, it seemed like a no brainer that the Penguins would at least approach him about a new deal at some point during the offseason.
That didn’t happen. And given the way Orpik has reacted to questions about his future with the team, one would imagine that he isn’t entirely pleased with the situation. His unwillingness to comment may not bode well for the Penguins if they don’t fire up negotiations on an extension soon.
Now there haven’t been any sort of trade rumors or anything of the like involving Orpik. All indications are that he’ll at least play out his deal with the Penguins and hit the market next year. Given their current cap situation, with so many key players signed to long term deals, is there even room for Orpik at this point?
That’s the major question. They signed Letang to a long term deal, and signed Rob Scuderi to a multi-year contract during the offseason. They may not have the extra coin to lock Orpik up long term. As a steady defensive defenseman, capable of logging big minutes and throwing in a few points on the stat sheet, he’s worth more than Pittsburgh can probably afford, especially to a team desperate for defense.
We don’t know what the future holds for Brooks Orpik as a member of the Penguins. While a trade isn’t likely, the chances of him returning to the team next summer, given the Pens’ financial situation, it wouldn’t be a surprise in any way, shape, or form, to see him suiting up for a new team in 2014-15.