The Washington Capitals have addressed their defensive woes in the worst way possible, signing former Penguin Brooks Orpik to a five-year, $27.5-million disaster of a deal.

Orpik, 33, has never played a full NHL season. He was a defensive defenseman in Pittsburgh, logging over 20 minutes a night. He has been outshot his whole career and hasn’t posted a positive relative possession score.

In Washington, he will likely will be used as a second pairing defenseman.

Let’s review Orpik’s career and his new contract:

  • Orpik played at the 2014 Olympics, maybe because the coach was Dan Bylsma.
  • Orpik concussed Loui Eriksson with a hit he was not suspended for.
  • Orpik has been on a steady offensive decline for years. It probably would have been more noticeable had he not played with two of the best players in the world.
  • Orpik will be 38 at the end of this contract.
  • Orpik is known as a poor skater and his contract with the Caps almost takes him over the hill.
  • Orpik will command Washington’s fourth highest cap hit next season.
  • Orpik’s salary is higher than anyone’s in this FA class (as of right now) except for Paul Stastny and Ryan Miller.

The Washington Capitals have signed defenseman Brooks Orpik to a five-year, $27.5 million contract, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.

“We are very excited to welcome Brooks to Washington,” said MacLellan. “We feel Brooks’ leadership and experience will greatly enhance our defense for years to come. Brooks plays tough minutes against the opposition’s best players.”

Orpik, 33, ranks first among defensemen in Pittsburgh franchise history in games played (703), fifth in penalty minutes (734) and ninth in assists (119). The 6’2”, 219-pound defenseman has registered 132 points (13 goals, 119 assists) and 734 penalty minutes in 703 career NHL games. He has served as an alternate captain for the team since 2008, was named the Penguins’ Defensive Player of the Year three times (2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12) and won the Player’s Player Award four times (2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14), given to the player that exemplifies leadership on and off ice and is dedicated to teamwork.

Orpik played in 72 games for the Penguins in 2013-14, earning 13 points (two goals, 11 assists) and 46 penalty minutes and ranked first on the team in blocked shots (143) and first among Pittsburgh defensemen in hits (221). Orpik was drafted by the Penguins in the first round, 18th overall, in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft.

The San Francisco native has represented the United States at the Winter Olympics twice (2010, 2014), the World Championships once (2006) and the World Junior Championships once (2000). Orpik earned a silver medal with Team USA at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. He played three seasons at Boston College from 1998-01 and helped the Eagles win the NCAA Division I National Championship in 2001

Um, okay then. We seem united.

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  • Thatoneguy

    You know craps bad when the RMNB crew doesn’t like it. :(

  • Freedoooom

    Cornering the market on overpaid Brooksy’s.

    Ovi deserves better. We deserve better.

  • silentmachine

    Is literally anyone pleased with this?

    Actually, I will lower the bar: is anyone not actively repulsed by this?

  • Bilal
  • Andrew Walker

    This could have been an okay idea if it hadn’t been for so long at so high of a cap hit. Jeez, this hurts.

    Is this a portent of things to come? God, I hope not.

  • Ryan Kohn

    Chuck Gormley! *sigh*

  • Chris Cerullo

    Maybe he’ll fail the physical….?

  • Jack Conness

    When free agency initially kicked off and the Caps signed Peters, I was pretty jacked. A cheap deal for a solid backup goaltender was exactly what we need. I was pleasantly happy and content with Brian MacLellan.

    Thirty minutes later, an asteroid hit earth, fire rained upon us, and we signed Brooks Orpik to a godawful deal that I won’t even say details on. Just a couple minutes prior, I made fun of the Florida Panthers on the Free Agent Frenzy thread RMNB thoughtfully put up for us (go you guys), and I said the 5 year, $25 mil deal they gave Dave Bolland is a great reason why they suck every year. AND THEN DISASTER STRUCK. I will take the blame. I jinxed us. I feel awful.

    But for real, Mike Vogel tweeted this a couple of days ago. You don’t win a Stanley Cup via free agency. You do it through the draft, the draft, and trades. Free agency typically plugs a hole. MacLellan jumped off the deep end and ruined this team. I’m really distraught right now. This really sucks. This is really, really bad.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland

    THERE’S STILL HOPE!

  • Greg

    I think we’re missing the bigger problem, which is that this doesn’t say ANYTHING good about the new management structure that has been put in place. With teams like Chicago and LA starting to embrace analytics, we do something like this. Ugh.

  • Jack Conness

    Crossing my fingers.

  • Chris Cerullo

    That’s when you know things are bad.

  • Sarah

    At least this is making me irate enough that it’s distracting me from my nerves about the USA game? What a mess.

  • Matthew Kory

    So, who do you guys think has the initials to take over GM duties when GMBM is fired in 11 years?

  • Jared

    Would have even been better to re-sign Grabo, and stick him on the 2nd defensive pairing.

  • Matthew Kory

    Doing nothing at all would have been better.

  • Punished Snake

    Welp

  • Matthew Kory

    It’s so awful on multiple levels. It’s a terrible, terrible deal, which, in turn, says terrible terrible things about the people running the team, such as they’re likely to make more terrible, terrible deals in the future.

  • Lawrence
  • Chris Cerullo

    I feel like a dad that’s not only furious with my child but also extremely disappointed. It’s like that bad.

  • Joe

    I was really hoping McLellan understood what had to be done, and had learned from the mistakes that GMGM made with contracts. That frustrating feeling that I had as 2013-14 wound down now returns, four months before 14-15 starts!

  • CJ Easton

    In fairness to Chick it is his job and livelyhood to try and make this sound exciting however he can.

  • Russell Kay

    1 Brooks was enough…

  • Guest

  • Bilal

    adam oates

  • Matthew Kory

    This should have been covered in the interview process.

    Leonsis: So, if I hired you, what would your off-season look like?
    BM: I’d sign Orpik to a five-year $27M deal!
    Leonsis: Thanks we’ll call you.
    /doesn’t call

  • DustinPenncakes

    I would have been fine with a two year deal while the guys down in hershey developed more.

  • http://kaugesaar.se/ Victor Kaugesaar
  • Jeff Schultz

    Orpik is still better defensively than anyone on team presently. He’s old, he’s slow, yes. But he also hits people and separates people from the puck. All the puck movers in the world (Carlson, Green, etc.) can’t do their things without having the puck.

  • Ben E.

    It’s OK, cause life is meaningless. There’s no order to anything, chaos rules.

  • Anthony Elworthy

    I saw the news and promptly developed ulcers and vomited blood.

    In what world is this a good idea? 30yo C Grabo $5mil/5yr is too much BUT 33yo D Orpik $5.5mil/5yr JUST RIGHT BABY. BRB while I bash my head on the keyboard.

    http://i809.photobucket.com/albums/zz15/death_eater356/head-keyboard.gif

  • Kyle Reid

    I like the player, and I would even be okay with the term but 5/5.5 is ridiculous. Top 5 most expensive players signed so far…

  • VeggieTart

    Isn’t everyone overpaying on Free Agent Frenzy day? And don’t we need a big, solid defenseman who’s a pain in the ass to other teams?

  • Matthew Kory

    You’re hired!

  • Guest

    My reaction to the term/money given by GMBM

  • doeshin

    I cannot believe this is the new GM. Feels like the old GM. WHY? WHY? and then he says Grabo and Caps are far apart because you wanted to sign ORPIK? WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?????????????

  • Searle

    GMAO? I don’t think you understood the game…..

  • Taylor Kelley

    Wow… first big signing by GMBM is a bust…. I mean, its not like Jagr bust but pretty bad.

  • Jake

    All things told yes the term is long and yes the cap hit is high, but Orpik makes the caps a better team, and with the salary cap consistently increasing, it may end up working. Complaining about a bad contract won’t help, talking about what is good about the contract and how it’s plays into the grand scheme of things is

  • Pat Magee

    GMGM would never do anything like this…. He was intelligent.

  • Chris Cerullo

    The problem is, is that other teams feasted on Orpik last year. The guy was the definition of a pylon and has been trending that way at a very fast rate. He isn’t 2009 Orpik that was actually difficult to play against.

  • doeshin

    This GM pulled a fast one on Teddy… And now he will ruin the caps for () <- enter number of years. I just cannot fathom how this signing will turn out good in any way shape form and or spirit…. WHY?

    WHY?

    WHY THIS MOVE AND SAY STUPID S#$$ like, CAN'T SIGN GRABO. TOO FAR APART….

    WHYYYYEEEEEE??????

    This guy is GMGM doppleganger.

  • Ben E.

    I’d argue it’s worse. I’d argue this is by far the worst acquisition the Caps have ever made.

  • Pat Magee

    Is it too late to buy him out??

  • Guest

    My reaction to GMBM’s term/cash given

  • tomatonator

    I miss GMGM already.

  • mspeer

    Jagr

  • Alex

    Well I can already see a few big positives: Leadership, blocked shots, hits. Will it be enough to justify the terms of the contract?

  • Puck Rat

    This Haynesworthian move looks like something that a certain local NFL team owner might do.

  • Dan Curry

    This.

  • Andy

    I love you guys and im also pretty upset about this signing, but this article isnt very helpful to anyone involved. Its clearly biased and puts a really bad taste in the mouth of fans for a guy who is going to be with us for a while. You guys command a ton of influence with caps fans, I think you should be more careful with it. Also it seems a little strange to quote your own blogs tweets as reactions to the deal make it seem like a huge echo chamber. Just seems like a very sour post without much of the level headedness ive come to expect here

  • Bilal

    aiight then Don Fishmen (or whatever the hell his name is)
    GMDM

  • takethatsucka

    Terd polisher… err.. optimist I take it?

  • pixiestix

    well said. I’ve been kind of dismayed by the negativity as well.

  • DustinPenncakes

    Can someone explain this a little more?

  • pixiestix

    btw, i meant well said Andy. not the terd polisher commenter

  • CJ Easton

    You cannot trade a player who does not pass a physical. They are not medically cleared to play.

  • PleaseKillMe

    Hope the Caps can learn from the Orioles and pull a Grant Balfour.

  • Luke Anthony

    This team is, and forever will be, run by morons.

  • Jason Wolf

    Meh. At least they acknowledged the problem on defense and tried to fix it, which is more than I can say for GMGM’s attempt at fielding a well rounded team.

    Yeah the numbers are big, but lets let the guy play a game in a Caps sweater first before we declare this one of the worst signings in franchise history.

  • HMA8

    Ovi will be 33 and Backy 31 when the Caps are done with this awful contract. Hopefully Ted forces a buyout next summer and we can pretend this never happened.

  • a

    niskanen is being signed.

    so we have D pairings! yall wanted d.

  • Kyle Reid

    You have a source?

  • a

    sure do. same source when we signed Halak (check that trade deadline thread) and when orlov broke his wrist before it hit here.

  • Kyle Reid

    Good news (on condition of term/cash). Then this makes the TSN panel talking about him so much funnier

  • DustinPenncakes

    I guess that applies to free agent signings then too.

  • Johnny Hot Pockets

    This was the first day Brian MacLellan did anything. So it took him roughly 1 hour to fail at being a GM. That’s some Mike Millbury level sucking

  • CJ Easton

    Sorry thought I added that but yes I believe it is the same. Think like a Home inspection prior to buying a house, body has to be able to be used.

  • Fletcher22

    It would seem to me that the folks who only look at stats don’t see the whole picture. You can’t analyze intangibles. Toughness, grit, leadership, culture etc. if Orpik can impart some of those qualities on this team, and can give you two or three good years then it’s worth it. The cap will go up and you can try to deal him to team trying to hit the cap floor. It’s also worth it if they jettison the other Brooks by days end.

    The other piece of it is Caps hockey has ben a shit show for the last few years and no one wants to come here. It’s either you pay someone, or you roll with the same roster going into next season minus Grabo.

  • johnnymorte

    Seriously, this isn’t the worst thing in the world. This guy plays top minutes against the league’s best players every night with a lot of defensive zone starts on a team that doesn’t have many. We have a young blue line that needs someone with grit and experience. Maybe I would have liked to have seen Nikita Nikitin or Anton Volchenkov in a Caps jersey, but the case could be made that this is the best of what’s available. I don’t really care what the NHL.com media thinks regarding the best and worst UFA’s. At least we didn’t get Niskanen, and that’s a victory in itself. We just signed the Penguins’ best shut down Dman. I think a wait and see attitude is appropriate.

  • Ben Reed

    Well, that’s all I need to know about GMBMac.

  • Aaron Contic

    Over five mill for a soon to be 34 year old?

  • It’s me

    I can not stand Chuck Gormley! He is the worst please tell me there are more of you that feel the same way.

  • Fletcher22

    So what’s the alternative solution? Players aren’t lining up to play here.

  • JH

    Damn straight. The full-on wailing and gnashing of teeth is mind-blowing.

  • Johnny Hot Pockets

    It could turn out ok, and I hope you’re right. But it’s pretty tough to be optimistic about this because it seems like the type of move that necessitated getting rid of GMGM

  • Jd Sipe

    remember when a lot of you said we had to get rid of Mcphee

  • Dave

    I no longer think it’s premature to fire MacLellan.

  • Searle

    Players signed today that are earning LESS than Orpik on average per year.
    Jarome Iginla
    Matt Moulson
    Mike Cammalleri
    Andrew MacDonald
    Marian Gaborik
    Dan Boyle
    Christian Ehrhoff
    etc etc etc.

    Not against bringing Orpik in but that contract is going to be filed in the same drawer as the Erat trade.

  • Gregory Burnett

    This guy (Orpik) had literally THE WORST year in terms of SF%, SFRel% and the 2nd worst year in CFRel and FFRel of any available defenseman…and the Caps are paying him 1.5mil more than Erhoff until he turns 38. This is a terrible deal and that cannot be overstated enough.

  • Ben Reed

    It’s actually worse than Haynesworth, who was at least in the prime of his career, and whose contract was not guaranteed (b/c NFL), and whose signing did not preclude signing other players, and so on and so forth.

  • ChasCaps

    Brooks being here is almost as depressing as “Brooks was here” in Shawshank Redemption

  • PWong

    good pull

  • HunterVT

    The money throwing baby is much better off.

    The caps have thrown money out of the window towards a passing truck and now the distracted truck driver has swerved off the road and is likely going to crash into the Caps house.

    The impact probably won’t be enough to destroy the house, but it’s going to look real ugly for a long time.

  • Guest

    10 out of 10, would upvote again.

  • Matthew Kory

    To me the deal reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of player aging and player value, as well as a lack of critical thinking and either an inability or unwillingness to engage advanced statistical measurements. We all make mistakes and running a pro sports team is no different in that regard, but this deal highlights a lot of negative aspects of those now in charge of the present and future of the Washington Capitals and that, I think, is what has justly (in my opinion) engendered such negativity.

  • Fletcher22

    Niskanen may yet be signed. But I agree on Orpik:

  • Alex

    We might still get Nisky… It’s still up in the air, though

  • Chris Cerullo

    Be a smart organization…? That’d be a nice alternative.

  • Jim

    Hopefully Rierden knows something about Orpik that most hockey folks don’t. Still, it seems like an awfully fat and lengthy contract for a player who is more likely than not to see his skills decline, perhaps pretty rapidly.

  • Steven Lemmeyer

    I’m going to be the optimistic guy that says, “he may not be what he was, and his contract is a bit more than what he should get…but he is an experienced D-man coupled with Trotz and this gives me some faith.” Godspeed.

  • Pat Magee

    If he’s healthy, He’s still an upgrade over Erskine. If not, maybe he’ll retire from a devastating knee injury.

  • FactChecker

    I checked and you are in fact correct. You did call the Neuvy Halak trade. Here’s hoping this one is also on target.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    Blocked shots and hits are not positives. Those are two stats you get because you failed to get the puck.

  • Sarah

    You know I am the perennial bluebird of happiness, so chirpy it probably annoys the hell out of people, and I’ve disagreed with the RMNB crew’s criticism a lot. And I’m with you on what you said, because this is literally the most optimistic statement that can be made right now.
    You and me and the bottle makes three tonight…

  • Kyle Reid

    But it’s better than other players *Cough* Erskine *Cough* who don’t get the puck, don’t hit and don’t block. When the cap goes up it could look better if he plays well. Maybe…

  • Zachary Mott

    But at least now we have two Brooks on this team? Anyone? Bueller?

  • John Bolt

    looks like Andy IS the one trying to put shine to schite

  • Mike Reppenhagen

    I’m a total mark for Orpik. I think he’s a great character guy, a hard worker and has a history of eating hard, physical minutes and doing okay (It’s been a while since he’s done well with them, but there was a time where he did well with them, too.)

    He matches up well with Mike Green in terms of handedness and play style. He’ll let Green be the freelancer he needs to be while not allowing torrents of pucks to Holtby. That’s all good.

    He can even take a role helping us coach up our young blueliners.

    If you told me this morning we’d make this move, I would have loved it, because I would have assumed it was a 2-3 yr deal for around 2-2.5 per year. That’s overpaying a bit, but it’d be a value pick up and one I’d get behind.

    Instead, this is arguably the worst deal I’ve ever seen.

  • Steven Lemmeyer

    I think the Caps are going after Niskanen too. Since we have the Pens old positional coach…..

    Things may be better than some are eluding too. Trotz is a very balanced coach and I trust he is fixing our D.

  • Brenna
  • Kyle Reid

    Brooks squared.

  • Scott

    Hmm. Should I take the red pill or the blue pill

  • cobra617

    Brooks? Is that you?

  • John M

    We should have none.

  • SteveM

    OH NOO!!! I just saw the news. :( :( :(

    And the justification…. http://youtu.be/Bbv5B71KmkA?t=1m

  • Rob Young

    Did you seriously post that? If you are going to use statistics for prediction, you first need to know something about reseach methods. Real statistics don’t stand on their own. You are exalting Corsi the way many psychologists exalt meta-analysis with a total disregard for the complexity of such a prediction. Until you have a long-term retrospective or prospective/longitudinal analysis of the actual predictive power of Corsi to winning, you are really overestimating the importance of such a stat.

    Do you have enough data to even conduct a reliable factor or path analysis to even justify the predictive power of a single player’s Corsi to overall team success? I don’t think so. So you can’t honestly say that a stat like Corsi is really damning to either a player or the GM who signs him.

    All that aside, anyone who isn’t brain dead knows that intangibles matter. The Caps don’t have a solid defensive player who can manhandle other players in front of the net. Now they do.

    Fans have been clamoring for a tough, physical, shutdown defenseman for years. You don’t need to make the guy feel unwelcome before we have even seen him in a Caps uniform. Do you work for the Penguins or the Flyers? You don’t seem to be trying to help. If he ends up sucking, call them on it. But don’t sabotage it from the beginning.

  • DustinPenncakes

    It’s all good. Thanks for explaining.

  • Kyle Reid

    But 5.5/5 for a tough stay at home defence man? I mean he has got to be one of the highest paid stay at home type guys in the league AND he’s 33. As I said earlier, I love the player, he’s what we need, but 5.5 is just insane.

  • Fletcher22

    You mean like taking Vrana (another soft skilled winger who plays little defense) at 13 when his average draft rating was closer to 21-23 when McCann is on the board and falling. Vancouver traded Kesler and then drafted his potential future replacement in McCann. So we’re patient with poor draft picks, but not with Orpik who is at least a known commodity coming from a solid organization:

  • John M
  • Sarah

    I really am with you on trying to be positive, it could work out, especially with Trotz and Reirden in town. It’s not $27.5 million with of hope, but what the hell, let’s go with it. This was a weak free agency class. Of course, that’s why Nill didn’t jump head first into this free agent pool, even though God knows our D needs a lot of help too. Then again, Jim Nill has time. We have a very young team and he has five years to work with, which Mac does not.

  • pixiestix

    I did’t read any attempt to shine a shite in his comment. I personally read it as an astute assessment on the tone of the article and the influence of this blog. I too would appreciate the levelheadedness that we’ve come to expect. yes. our initial reactions will be emotional…we’ve overpaid. crap. ok. let’s get to the rest of the conversation. Now that he’s here, how do we best fit him into our play.

  • Austin

    I completely agree. I love RMNB but for f&*ks sake everyone needs to stop whining your all not running the team the best thing we can do as fans is hope for the best, and ask what is the best way he will help our team win?

  • John Bolt

    You’re correct, Andy wasn’t trying to shine shit, seems like he was upset that the RMNB guys weren’t. I think he is expecting too much, they are fans too. Time will tell how he fits in.

  • JH

    A-f’ing-men. The harshness and vitriol is just out of control. Did everyone miss their cup of joe this morning or something. Chill, people.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    Yes, there have been a bunch of regression analyses and prospective analyses on puck possession as a predictor of future performance. Thanks for coming out.

  • JH

    PS, commenters: “eluding” does not = “alluding” Please. Just please.

  • OrderedChaos
  • themav80

    You guys are forgetting two key facts.

    Fact: He was a Penguin.
    Fact: Fuck the Penguins.

  • Austin

    what is the source ?

  • Austin

    what is the source?!

  • Rob Young

    Really? There have? Can you tell me what percentage of the variance in team success is predicted by a single defenseman’s Corsi score? And can you prove that it you’re not just making it up? And while you’re at it, can you quantified intangibles and factor them in as well?

  • kyle boyd

    exactly, i don’t hate orpik, but he’s old, and we signed him for a long time, and he’s good, but we’re paying him a great salary. grabo likely wasn’t asking for anymore then orpik got, but we decided to pass on a much better player to overpay for a positional need. this isn’t how you championships. why didn’t we offer a second or better for Josh Gorges if we were this desperate for a shot-blocking, physical stay at home defensemen? this wasn’t a good move, this was a desperate move.

  • SteveM

    Rob – I think I see what you’re getting at…generally. I know about research
    methods, and I also happen to be keen on where heuristics is applicable
    versus statistical thinking in uncertain worlds such as sports and the economy.

    But — my (and many fans’) intuition is based
    on 27.5 million dollars for 5 years on a player that DID seem to be in
    decline who IS a veteran and aging who has NEVER finished a full
    season. I would think for 27.5 million and 5 years…there would be data
    points to PROVE the 27.5 million dollar investment. And I personally
    don’t see them.

    With regards to judgement and intangibles: I’m also not of the
    mindset that Mac is all of a sudden a hockey genius that can see other data that no one else in the NHL is seeing (or willing
    to pay for!). Can you blame anyone for being skeptical given
    past results? More simply put – isn’t this the type of move we’d expect
    from a rookie GM? Overpaying for a piece of the team for FIVE years
    and oversimplifying the justification as “Well we needed to fill that 1 hole now”?

  • Fedor

    There’s difference between “biased” and “opinionated”. This article is the latter.

  • Rob Young

    Thanks for coming out? That makes it sound like you just smacked me down. By making a vague and unsubstantiated claim. Ouch!

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland
  • Rob Young

    Did you seriously just delete me reply? Maybe you have posts set to require approval and you just haven’t approved it yet…

  • Alex

    He’s declining, eh? I remember a few years ago when everyone was saying how a certain well-known, high profile player was declining… Wonder what happened to him?

  • Rob Young

    Anyway… I would love to see that regression coefficient. In other words, just how much of the variance of overall team success is explained by a single defenseman’s Corsi. And please show us where you got that data. I love your blog, but you’re sounding an awful lot like Neil Greenberg here, overestimating the power of unproven statistics (in terms of actual predictive power for entire teams).

  • Fedor

    That player wasn’t a low-skill 33 year old defensive defenseman.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    Criticism isn’t whining, and sometimes criticism is a good way to help the team win.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    No. Disqus just lags sometimes.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett
  • Fedor

    All that aside, anyone who isn’t brain dead knows that intangibles matter. — Then I want to be brain dead.

    The Caps don’t have a solid defensive player who can manhandle other players in front of the net. Now they do. — It’s not intangibles.

  • Austin

    Criticism could be, but you must have passed up plenty of comments on this forum because a vast amount of people are not just criticizing they are whining. Grant it, everyone is entitled to their own opinion so it is what it is. Peter this deal is not good sure its obvious, but it has happened and we are not running the team so the best thing we can do are root for the team we love. It is frustrating for me as well to see bad decisions like this Orpik deal but we have to at least give him a chance.

  • poodlewoof

    Not to put words in his mouth, but I think Rob was also saying, when does the criticism of the deal stop? I love RMNB, but can we simultaneously think and agree that we overpaid (I do) and accept the deal is done? Being right about whether we overpaid is kind of moot at this point. Resorting to hyperbole and feeding the “echo chamber” (see Andy’s nice and heavily up voted comment below) seems like a path with no retreat.

    The guy isn’t a no-talent, has a skill set we don’t necessarily possess, and has played exactly zero minutes as a Capital. The deal is done. Are we going to make him wear a special jersey and boo him when he takes the ice? How about we chill out and welcome the guy to the team and see how he works out? I applaud prudent reporting and everyone is entitled to their opinion, but frankly I read RMNB for the fun and there’s a lot of vitriol here.

  • pixiestix

    sometimes criticism is just criticism and just a super downer.
    I’m looking forward to when we’re past the wallowing in self pity and focusing on solutions and celebrating the positives. Who knows…in a few months, maybe we’ll be having fun photoshopping one of Orpik’s funny expressions after a great play or laughing together about that time when “Orpo/Brooksdee/Orpiky/whatever his nickname will be” got (stuck in the toilet/helped someone with a flat tire/helped the community/insert new endearing story that makes us realize he’s a person too here). People used to be outraged at how much we paid for Wardo. but he is a loved part of the Caps family now too for the fans and has proven his worth. The deal is the deal and isn’t going to be undone. Let’s give him a chance and hope for the best.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    I believe that there are a lot of valid ways to be a fan, and it’s one of our tenets at RMNB that we’ll support all of it: serious or silly, whining or winning, lusting after players or whatever.

  • Austin

    lol fair enough

  • Camillia Gomez

    *sigh*

  • Fletcher22

    So intangibles don’t matter? Like, at all?

  • poodlewoof

    That seems like splitting hairs and I don’t think minimizes Andy’s overall observation. Opinion can still be biased and I think an article which is just a list of everything that is wrong with someone without a single positive demonstrates that pretty clearly.

  • Sarah

    PS, I know how to spell that word too, but those of us trying not to be upset have enough of an uphill battle without nitpicking on each other like that. That poster agrees with you, for heaven’s sake. And even if you have to nitpick, you could at least not be so rude.

  • Steven Lemmeyer

    BOOM! Perhaps they paid more for Orpik to ensure Niskanen signed with us. Such happy right now! 7 years for 5.7

  • Sarah

    Hell’s bells, that’s awesome! Orpik had better be paying for Niskanen’s bar tabs or something.

  • Fedor

    Depends on understanding of intangibles.

  • Fedor

    If I knew those positives, I’d make sure to mention them.

  • DCsportsfan85

    This is just sooooo sad. Pittsburgh lands arguablly the best defenseman in this year’s UFA class in Ehrhoff (Who IMHO is a stud) on a great 1 year/$4MM contract. The Capitals take their aging, over-the-hill, slow, bruising defenseman that is quickly becoming obsolete in today’s NHL to a CRIPPLING 5yr/$27.5MM contract.

    I can heard the window closing now.

    If they wanted a big, physical, stay-at-home defensive defenseman with great leadership skill why not pursue Willie MItchell for less term and money??? He’s a left-handed shot as well.

    I want to puke when I see Mark Fayne sign for 4 yrs/$14M, Christian Ehrhoff sign for 1yr/$4M, Anton Stralman sign for 5yrs/$20M, Mike Weaver 1yr/$1.75M, Tom Gilbert 2yrs/$5.2M.

    THEN Brooks Orpik 5yrs/$27.5M and laugh until I realize it was the Capitals.

    It’s just so frustrating to be a Capitals fan these days.

  • Fletcher22

    It’s your show, throw it out there.

  • JenniferH

    Make that four. I’m with you guys. I refuse to be anything less than optimistic until the season starts and we see how these guys play together as a team under Trotz’s guidance.

  • Cracker Joe

    We needed an upgrade on D and we got it.
    Can you imagine the whining and hair-pulling had we
    NOT signed help on D?

    Sure, it’s risky and expensive, but it’s damn
    sure better than doing nothing ( McPhee ).
    And I’m sure Trotz, Lambert, and Reirden weighed in
    on these signings and played a big part in GMBM’s
    decision.

  • Cracker Joe

    It’s a lot of money for sure, but the market determines
    the price.

    We got a nasty, physical guy who will put a hurt on people
    around the cage. Perfect? No. An upgrade? Yes.

    And don’t forget, GMBM is likely not making these moves
    without the consult of Trotz, Lambert, or Reirden.

  • Rich

    you are so incorrect it hurts

  • Kyle Reid

    That’s true, but I find it hard to believe the market price for Orpik was 5.5/5, considering a number of D-men who are as good or even better, went for less term and less money.

    Maybe if GMBM got in a bidding war the price could go that high but, and correct me if I’m wrong, 5.5 million has got to be the most salary for a stay at home D-man in the league.

  • Roy Schue

    I don’t care who you are. You are not gonna get the puck every time in every situation. Shot blocking is a skill and we all love to see the big hits along the boards

  • fishbonehead

    Ghost of McPhee

  • Eric Schulz

    You can’t have the puck 100% of the time though.

  • Eric Schulz

    Stralman is a horrible comp. I’d’ve used Clayton Stoner at 29 years old, 3 years, $14 M.

  • Eric Schulz

    Remember who we gave up for Jagr? Yeah, that was a good move.

  • Eric Schulz

    Goddamn, you’re right. Holy shit, could you imagine the noise we would’ve made had we kept Kris Beech, Michal Sivek, and Russ Lupaschuk? God, I miss those studs.

  • Pingback: Capitals overpay to rebuild defensive corps in NHL free agent frenzy

  • NRA-4eva

    That echos how I feel about the deal. When I first heard about the deal I thought it was awesome. Then I heard it was for 5 years: Less awesome. Five years and 27 million? I now hate the GM for putting me in a place where I kinda resent Orpik.

  • NRA-4eva

    Two key facts:

    Fact: I don’t give a damn.
    Fact: Shut up themav80

  • The Non Band Wagoner.

    What are you talking about? A shit ton of money, yes… but they wouldn’t just sign that kind of deal without having a trade of a big time player who could be wholefully overrated (i.e. Mike Green) in mind. Go play hockey and coach before you open your mouth. This is why I hate all of DC and its fans now, a bunch of band wagon hyper-critical assholes that will never let its team’s succeed because all of you will be the first to hop off once a season goes down the toilet. Orpik is a shut down defensemen, been terrorizing Ovi for years. Stop looking at stats and be proud we signed a good ol’ american boy instead of another soft ass euro player. With Niskanen and Orpik, our defense just got unimaginably better.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    “Orpik is a shut down defensemen, been terrorizing Ovi for years.”

    The Penguins got outscored 6 to 3 when Orpik went against Ovechkin over the last five years.

    This comment is a delicious melange of anti-intellectual ignorance and xenophobia.

  • The Non Band Wagoner.

    Youre a joke.

  • The Non Band Wagoner.

    Haha look up xenophobia before you start using big words there homeboy. How is me having a fear of the strange or foreign relate in any way to my comment. You’re a fucking joke. This blog is whats wrong with DC. Hang this comment up at your next job you fucking nerd.

  • themav80

    “Stop looking at stats and be proud we signed a good ol’ american boy instead of another soft ass euro player. “

  • Scott Alsop

    Spanky FTW

  • Cracker Joe

    You’re right, Kyle.
    For a stay-at-home D-man it is the highest.
    But the caps were arguably the most desperate.
    They could NOT be a Trotz style defensive team
    with the D they had and they were awful.
    I agree with you, it’s too much, too long for
    Orpik, but because of McPhee’s neglect the caps
    were in a bad spot and had to go for broke.
    Cheers, Kyle, I raise a beer to you, and hope with
    you, that the caps will fair well.

  • Mike Honcho

    GMGM basically said that Ted forced his hand to do that trade.

  • CapsPsycho

    You literally cannot think of a single positive thing to say about a player that has spent the last seven years as the anchor blueliner for a team that has gone 57 of 100 in the playoffs and won 11 series, including 2 trips to the finals and a Stanley Cup win?

  • CapsPsycho

    I’m blown away reading all these comments and the really disappointing pessimism from the editorial staff here. Something had to happen, and it did, and if you remember watching this team play late last season, that should be VERY GOOD NEWS.

    When it’s a seller’s market – as it always is with the best defensemen in free agency – no buyers will be happy with the pricetag. But the teams are competing to upgrade, and the market dictates how dearly that will come. And the Caps clearly did upgrade, at the price the market demanded.

    After 18 years of McPhee’s half-measures, a new GM correctly identified the clear personnel priority, grabbed the bull by the horns and went after the most needed piece. And he won. Caps blogs used to be a hive of contempt for George McPhee – then the opening move by his replacement is the most anti-McPheesian possible move, and they aren’t happy with that either. I think this community just wants a place and opportunity to channel their negativity.

    Objectively, the Caps won, and they will be vindicated in April 2015. Personnel-wise, the status quo (good 2nd line center, below-average D corps) wasn’t good enough. The team didn’t miss the playoffs because of bad coaching. The team didn’t have the tools. The glaring deficiency was on the blueline. The long awaited arrival of the 2C, as good as he was (when healthy) wasn’t the magic bullet. This big move for defenders was what we needed.

    Making personnel moves in the limited universe of pro hockey is an imperfect science, and sure we might have liked to get more proven/

    Sure, we overpaid Orpik to land Niskanen, but if you take 1M off Orpik’s sale price, tack it onto Niskanen’s the deal is far less disastrous. It was a

    All in all, I am ecstatic that our blueline is going to look more like Pittsburgh’s.

    And maybe I should just avoid these hives of hysteria.

    Jesus.

    TLDR: WELCOME TO DC, NISKANEN AND ORPIK. YOU WILL NEVER REGRET COMING TO PLAY FOR THE CAPS NATION. THE SEVENTH MAN WILL NEVER LET YOU DOWN.

  • Fedor

    Once you factor in the fact that team success doesn’t magically make anyone a better player, the positives side is thin to say the least.

  • Fedor

    Caps missed the playoffs by three points. If more adequate coaching wouldn’t improve the team’s results by three points, then firing Oates wasn’t worth the hassle.

    Plus, players tend to improve and regress over time. And I though Caps players had a good chance to improve because many of them are still young.