Words are Wind

“It’s going to be hard to take advantage of me.” – Brian MacLellan

Orpik. Five years. $5.5 million AAV.

“Puck possession is the key to a good team.” – Brian MacLellan

Orpik has never had a positive relative possession score in his career.

“[MacLellan] also talked about advanced stats and his love of mathematics, and I thought that was really interesting, because we want to be a leader, and continue to be able to mash up both stats and what you see.” – Ted Leonsis

Orpik, black hole of possession: $27.5 million.

“Signing long-term, expensive deals for vets is very risky.” – Ted Leonsis

Orpik, 33 years old. Five-year, $27.5-million contract.

“The priority is defense for me. And then we’ll find a good back-up [goaltender] and go from there, depending on how much the defense is going to cost us.” – Brian MacLellan

Cost: $27.5 million.

“We feel [MacLellan] has relevant, in-depth knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of our franchise and will be forceful in addressing them.” – Ted Leonsis

New weakness: Brooks Orpik.

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  • Chris Cerullo

    Yep. This sums up today and the current state of this organization.

  • Freedoooom

    I’m hoping he fails the physical, but knowing the Capitals, they planned ahead for that and gave him an exception.

  • Graham Dumas

    Wait, sorry, you’re saying this is a good deal, right?

  • Pat Magee

    So i guess everybody is gonna leave the team?? What are ya renaming the blog?

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

    We’re a soccer blog now.

  • Luke Anthony

    Seems like this organization is doomed to being run by morons forever. I mean there is no logical explanation to this contract. We are like the new Flyers.

  • MarkGreenway

    Now we have 100% of NHL Players named Brooks. New Team Name : “The Washington Brooksies” or we can go the band variety “Ovi and the brooksies”

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

    I’m a fan of the expressive typography. http://media.giphy.com/media/wmEFhlivchtxS/giphy.gif

  • Connor

    GMBM needs to stop everything he’s doing currently and take a step back. Get out of the Niskanen god damn rodeo. What the caps could use now are another defensemen and a 2c. Now are you going to have to move some cap space now? Yes, send erskine, brouwer, and mojo to a team for a winger to play opposite OV and a daft pick or two. Before looking for a defensemen the caps need to send on offer sheet to Ryan Johansen an offer sheet for 6 years 5.5 million per. There is a long term solution to 2c for years to come. If that doesn’t work and you need to do what GMGM did last year with Grabo. Wait until before training camp to target the talented but overlooked 2C and D and sign them to bargain contracts, its not rocket science

  • Rob W.

    More of the same ol BS from the “new(?)” front office…cant say im surprised

  • http://www.forumrunner.net ClemsonJeeper

    So how do you guys feel about this deal?

  • HartKiller_09

    The thing I found about the McPhee era was I didn’t get remotely excited about many of the moves he made. He never got the big fish and simply created a need by filling another, compiled more and more 3rd liners and routinely made underwhelming moves you knew wouldn’t amount to much. MacLellan was an underwhelming hire and his first move is the same type of McPhee underwhelming move that seemingly everyone but the people in charge can see isn’t going to turn out well.

  • PWong

    What deal? Is there something going on today?

  • mxhockey

    Over paid for a guy that can’t skate! What a clown as a GM!

  • kemiisto

    No point to watch the upcoming season, which means more free time. Great deal from that perspective.

  • riggorules

    Honestly, you guys are being too soft on them. I was never a FIRE GMGM guy, but I’m already there with GMBM.

  • starsandbeyond

    We’ve already gotten our share of daft picks, sadly.

  • kemiisto

    So we couldn’t afford 2nd line centre (Grabo) for $5.0 million AAV for 5 years, but…

  • kemiisto

    Yes, but this will not solve the problem, which is the owner.

  • Cthulu’s Alarm Clock

    I can’t help but feel that Leonsis is making us pay for calling for GMGM’s head this past season….

  • Aaron Contic

    Bush league moves from our bush league gm

  • Cthulu’s Alarm Clock

    An Alison Brie gif…you actually made me forget about the Orpik deal for about 3 seconds…

  • Emily Casto

    Impressed with those fancy quotes. Sadly, seems as though it’s too late. Uncle Ted spent all of our beer money on an old, slow, black-hole of a Penguin. Welcome to Caps Defense!

  • Dustin Sier

    I would go out on a limb and say that this is nothing like something GMGM would’ve done.

  • GMGMNeverBreaks

    I keep waiting for someone to announce that $27.5M was a typo. I generally try to be as charitable to management as I can, but I can’t imagine any other team offered Orpik anything close to $5.5M per, let alone for five seasons. I would’ve been amenable to signing Orpik for the right amount (<$4M/year), but I can't even imagine a reasonable explanation for these terms especially considering what other D have gone for.

  • AbrasiveD

    Not sure there is anything he can do make up for this one. What a bad start to the day. And to think I started off the day hopeful for the caps.

  • Emily Casto

    Peter, I’ll follow you to one of the 500 Irish bars in DC and continue as RMNB embraces the Footie. How does one play footie in Russia? There’s not a field of thawed grass in that place.

  • HartKiller_09

    The only potential positive here is if Orpik were to hit Crosby with one of those dirty head shots Penguin fans swear he doesn’t do.

  • pixiestix

    Maybe to keep track of which one we’re talking about, we can call them BrooksC and BrooksD

  • HartKiller_09

    The Capitals already have an over-paid useless Brooks.

  • Jack Conness

    This is pathetic. I’m a Caps fan till the end, but this is making it extremely difficult. Seeing management ruin a team is heartbreaking.

  • themav80

    my feels

  • sargeantmofo

    Brooks Back Mountain?

  • Kory S.

    Honestly, give GMBM a chance. I will support this decision to sign Orpik until his future performance on the ice proves otherwise. A key thing that some people are missing is the fact that a lot of free agents are overpaid, because free agency is a bidding war between teams who all want to fill the holes in their roster. However, did Orpik need a 5 year contract? Absolutely not. He probably will not play top minutes anyways, especially if Niskanen is signed.

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

    Once Brooks gets bought out– and he will be bought out– all these memories will be lost like tears in rain.

  • yv

    With 11.58M$ Green-Orpik pair becoming the most expensive pair in the whole hockey world. So, now we should expect that they will have +50 each to prove how right the new GM is?

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

    The Ehrhoff and Stralman deals were bloated by the free agency penalty, but they were both miles better than this one. This is on the level with Bolland’s joke of a contract in FLA.

  • Fedor

    if a GM candidate came to me and I asked him what his first move would be and he’d say “Sign Brooks Orpik 5 years 5.5. million per”, that job interview would end right there.

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

    dammit graham

  • Smiley456

    Maybe Niskanen likes Orpik?

  • Smiley456

    Shouldn’t we give the new GM a chance to explain at his press conference later today? Maybe? Just a little? :-)

  • Sydney Brock

    Or we could get rid of one of them.

  • Matthew Kory

    Not much you can say, really.

  • Wheeler

    Orpik’s gonna be 34 in September.

    Bad, meet worse.

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

    I wrote this before I knew about the NTC and the signing bonus.

  • Fedor

    Well, signing bonus doesn’t really matter, it’s just money that gets paid before the beginning of the season as opposed to throught the year.

  • sargeantmofo

    OBTW, apparently GMBM gave Orpik a limited No-Trade Clause.

    And you guys think it’s bad now? Just wait til we also sign Niskanen to a cap-crushing deal. Is Rierden our effing GM or what?!

  • Camillia Gomez

    This is when I remind myself that I’m a healthy, 26 year old, and it’s still possible that I’ll see the Caps win the cup.

  • yv

    Niskanen is Caps now also

  • yv

    Greg Wyshynski@wyshynski
    7 years, $40.25 million for Niskanen. Fare thee well, Mike Green …

  • Priscilla Villanueva

    Worst eyebrows ever.

  • Danny Lioudkevitch

    The only way I’d maneuver out of this is by trading Laich for a 4th/5th round pick and making MoJo full time 3C.

    That frees us up to get Grabo at $4-4.5m as he seems to be waiting for us. That also free’s us up to get Niskanen at no more than $6.5m.

    We can go into next year with D pairings of:

    Alzner – Carlson
    Orpik – Niskanen
    Orlov – Green

    Green can stay bottom pair to play sheltered minutes and PP. We then have the option of trading Green at the trade deadline for some forward depth going into the playoffs.

    That would be the ideal scenario, IMO. We’d have a very solid, mobile D backing up our average offence. I’m confident Trotz could take a group like that very far.

  • sargeantmofo

    Hey why not make a bad situation worse? Niskanen gets his 7-year deal, because Caps…

    Chuck Gormley @ChuckGormleyCSN · 1m
    It’s done! Caps get Matt Niskanen. 7 years, $40.25 million That’s $5.75 mill per. #CapitalsTalk

  • Danny Lioudkevitch

    SOOO HAPPY!

  • Austin

    lol did you just notice we got niskanen so your happy or are you being sarcastic?

  • PWong

    Someone wake me when it’s preseason cause I’m done paying attention to this crap for the rest of summer

  • Taylor Kelley

    Great and now Niskanen… swell, can we get a GM mulligan?

  • dylan wheatley

    this is garbage

  • yv

    Funny.

    Aaron Portzline@Aportzline
    If you can’t beat the Penguins, buy the Penguins? #Caps #Pens

  • Rob Young

    If it’s true about Niskanen, I stand corrected. McPhee would never have made such a disastrous decision in terms of the cap. But PLEASE don’t sabotage team chemistry by talking smack about our new players.

  • Danny Lioudkevitch

    No sarcasm. Just noticed we got Nisky and I’m ecstatic. Although Orpik’s deal will bite us later on, it’s still great that we got Orpik and Niskanen to work with Reirden so we they can get the ball rolling quick.

  • Rob Young

    The worst thing about Niskanen is that now we can’t have Grabovski. Or various other 2Cs. This is ridiculous.

  • Austin

    glad you were not being sarcastic because I think it is great as well, I dont think everyone on this forum agrees with us though….

  • Danny Lioudkevitch

    They’ll eat their words when the season starts. We basically added a legitimate top 4 pair from one of the best team in the league. Along with this new coaching staff, this is all very, very good.

  • Austin

    Exactly. And statistically the penguins were the 10th best defensive team this year according to Mike Vogel on Monumental Network so their D in Pittsburgh was not as bad as some people believe ( not saying it was really great just saying it wasn’t that bad)

  • CapNMac

    Ted should call him up to his office and have him give a presentation on what analytics he used to justify this signing, since one of the things that impressed Ted in GM Mac’s interview was his interest in moving the team more in that direction.
    I get the impression that GM Mac had a psychological profile of Ted and simply said what he knew Ted wanted to hear.

  • Jimmie

    Here’s some happy news. Stats? What the hell do we need stats for?

    https://twitter.com/katie_brown47/status/484106320904458240

  • Jimmie
  • Danny Lioudkevitch

    Not necessarily. We might be able to ditch Laich for some low end picks in order to throw money at Grabo or Legwand.

  • Barrett

    The two players that you consider legitimate top 4 dmen played on a team with arguable 2 of the top 5 centers in the NHL. We have Backstrom and……Jay Beagle and Michael Latta. You need strength down the middle to drive possession and the Capitals lack it, very very badly.

  • Barrett

    If you put a cowboy hat on him, GMBM kinda looks like Woody from Toy Story.

  • Danny Lioudkevitch

    That’s true. But you have to consider that we’ll be adding a 2C soon (hopefully Grabo) and Backstrom is no slouch on defence. Last year was an anomaly in terms of our D-play because we had no D and our entire coaching staff aside from Forsythe was brutal. Now that we have Trotz and Reirden, I see our whole team committing to defence very well.

  • Barrett

    $1,113,205 in cap space isn’t going to land Grabovski. He wants $5+mil per year and GMBM balked at that request before signing Orpik to his ridiculous 5 year $27.5mil deal. That’s the deal Grabovski should have received.

  • Danny Lioudkevitch

    We can land Grabo if we can trade Laich for a 4th-6th round pick to a team still looking to meet the cap floor. I also hope we buy out Erskine.

  • Barrett

    Why would any team take on Brooks Laich in a trade for draft picks when they could just sign Grabovski, meet the cap floor and save their picks?

  • Danny Lioudkevitch

    True, but maybe those teams might have a hard time convincing Grabo to come play for a rebuilding team. None of those cap floor teams have thrown big money at Grabo yet so I’m inclined to believe they won’t, because he won’t take it.

    Don’t get me wrong, I know Laich will be a tough sell, but I think (really hoping) it’s possible.

  • Cracker Joe

    Too much? Yep.
    But it’s done.
    And it was likely done with the input of Trotz, Lambert, and Reirden.
    Personally I would have liked Stralman instead of Orpik but I’m not
    a GM, a coach, or an assistant coach. The Caps HAD to address
    the D and they did. Had they pulled a McPhee and done nothing
    many would be throwing themselves off the 14th Street bridge and others
    would be calling for GMBM’s head.

    The caps HAD to upgrade. They did, and yes, it will hurt us if the GM
    does not get rid of some contracts through trades, soon.

  • Barrett

    I don’t see many cup contenders with the ability to drop $5+mil on Grabovksi. Teams like Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Colorado, Pittsburgh, Dallas, St. Louis, Montreal, New York (R) and Detroit are all pushing the cap limit. So he’s going to have to choose between a middle-of-the-pack type team for average money or a rebuilding team for the amount he wants.

  • Rhino40

    BROOKSIVS MAXIMVS ET BROOKSIVS MEDIANVS?

    Brooksi Major & Brooksi Minor?

    Le Petit Brooksi et le Grand Brooks!?

    Der kleine Bruksi und Der große Bruksi?

  • Barrett

    Would have been more logical to trade the players you need to in order to free up cap space to sign the players you want before you screw yourself over…no?

  • Cracker Joe

    And so are Carrick, Erskine, Schmit, and Hillen.

    The Caps weren’t going anywhere with the above.

    GMBM is going for broke and that’s so much better than the
    cringing, timorous McPhee.

    GMBM isn’t done; expect him to shred payroll through trades.

  • Cracker Joe

    Exactly.
    It ain’t over yet.
    GMBM might be a genius or a failure but I like his riverboat
    gambler style.

  • Cracker Joe

    Well said, Danny!

  • Cracker Joe

    Good riddance.

  • Cracker Joe

    Tell it to Reirden and Trotz.
    You think they didn’t weigh in on these signings?
    They’re a heck of a lot closer to the game than you are.

  • Cracker Joe

    Well, you’re not and you won’t be…

  • Cracker Joe

    Tragic isn’t it?

  • Cracker Joe

    As opposed to McPhee?

  • Cracker Joe

    Yeah, I guess you’re missing the cringing, fearful McPhee?

  • Cracker Joe

    You hated McPhee because he had no b*lls
    and now you hate GMBM because he has b*lls.

    Wow.

    It might blow up in everyone’s face and it might turn out very well.
    Try to be glad there’s no more p*ssy footing around!

  • Cracker Joe

    More of the SAME ?
    Do you honestly believe McPhee would have had the guts
    to make such a move?
    Sure, it all might turn out horribly but GMBM has guts!
    He’s goin’ for broke!
    Something Mcphee wouldn’t know about…

  • Cracker Joe

    How do we know he didn’t try?
    Let the dust settle before calling for BM’s head.

  • Pat Magee

    Still?

  • Barrett

    Not saying he didn’t try.

    Just not logical to spend money before you have cap room to make other moves that you need to make.

    You don’t go out and buy a new boat when you drive a honda accord and hope your boss will give you the raise he’s been hinting at so you can buy the truck you need to tow the boat.

  • Owen Johnson

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CH01K4pBmnk
    This all I think of when I see GMBM’s picture.

  • Owen Johnson

    Most likely somewhere in between: a rookie GM

  • Owen Johnson

    Howard Machine Never Breaks?

  • Eric Schulz

    Why in the world would you A) have Green on the 3rd pair, B) play Green and Orlov together, and C) play Niskanen and Orpik together.
    Alzner – Carlson
    Niskanen – Green
    Orlov – Orpik

  • Eric Schulz

    If these deals didn’t prevent us from resigning Grabovski, then I wouldn’t care. We can buy out Orpik in 2 years, Niskanen in 3 or 4. Having them for those years would be an improvement, and would address problems that this team has had for way too long. However, I can’t imagine we keep Grabovski (or add any other legit 2C, or even 3C), which means we traded a dynamic 2C for a 5D and 6D. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
    If, somehow, we manage to fit Grabovski onto the team, then 90% of my objections go away though. (I don’t see how… but… trade Brouwer, trade Ward, put Laich in minors?
    Ovechkin – Backstrom – Fehr
    Kuznetsov – Grabovski – Wilson
    Burakovsky – Johansson – Brown
    Chimera – Latta – Beagle
    Um… yeah, it’s thin on forward and defense now… but… fuck.)

  • Eric Schulz

    No. We are just pining for a good GM.

  • Eric Schulz

    Yes McPhee would’ve. Remember when Erat prevented us from resigning Ribeiro?

  • Eric Schulz

    We’re also not going anywhere with these guys. We COULD’VE gone somewhere with:
    Grabovski, Havlat, Robidas, Stoner.

  • Eric Schulz

    Man, you are being too soft on him even. Who are we gonna trade that both frees up space AND doesn’t kill our depth. We had a damn good forward core and needed to address the defense. If, in adding these overvalued defenders, we need to strip the forward core, then our problems merely flip, they aren’t solved.
    Also, I think we still don’t have a strong defense, we just don’t have a weak one anymore.

  • Eric Schulz

    Maybe he hates him, and that’s why we had to pay him so damn much to get him to come here. He’s worth over half of what he got, but not by a lot.

  • Eric Schulz

    Yeah, most people hate GMs who are morons; we aren’t allowed to only hate one particular brand of idiocy. I hate them all.

  • Eric Schulz

    That’s misleading. He said that because we KNOW that Orpik doesn’t drive possession, no shit. We are expecting him to block shots and clear the front of the net. If you pair him with Green or Orlov, that’s a fine pairing (I don’t mind, at all, Niskanen – Green as 2nd, Orlov – Orpik as 3rd). Signing him was NOT a bad move… giving him $30 M a year for the next 20 years was the problem.

  • Barrett

    No more compliance buyouts, meaning any buyout (ordinary-course buyout) moving forward carries a cap hit based on the players contract (info & formula at capgeek.comcom). That would be roughly a $3.63mil +/- cap hit over 8 years for Orpik or $3.80mil +/- cap hit over 6 years for Niskanen. That would cripple the franchise. Cannot see that happening.

  • Barrett

    You got my hopes up last night too man! I was loving the different scenarios we were able to come up with including names like Grabovski, Richards, Cammalleri, Moulson, Havlat, Boyle, Ehrhoff, Stralman, Mitchell, Robidas, Fayne etc. Then today rolled around.

    Richards $2mil
    Moulson $5mil
    Havlat $1.5mil
    Boyle $2mil
    Cammalleri $5mil
    Ehrhoff $4mil
    Stralman $4.5mil
    Mitchell $4.25mil
    Robidas $3mil
    Fayne $3.625mil
    Gilbert $2.8mil

    Just thinking what we could have had with the $11.25mil GMBM spent on two players.

  • Fedor

    Thanks, I know.

  • Eric Schulz

    I realize no more compliance buyouts (even if we had them, we couldn’t use them on deals signed after the lockout). I still think freeing up money by buying out Orpik in 2 years is worth it, no matter what. If we are lucky, Niskanen’s contract doesn’t kill us until year 6 or 7, and we can sign a few undervalued guys and not be too screwed by his contract. But these contracts have already crippled the franchise, buying out Orpik in year 3 only gives us a broken leg instead of paraplegic.

  • Eric Schulz

    I know… looking at all the deals, most of which were about what I would’ve expected (Moulson was a tad high, I’d only want to pay $4 M, but no higher than I expected), Cammalleri was about right on, Havlat was super-cheap, Richards too… Ehrhoff also… Gilbert and Robidas about right. God, what a disaster this first offseason has been.
    We could’ve come away with Grabovski, Havlat, Robidas, and Gilbert for what we paid those two bozos.

  • Barrett

    The sad part is I actually like Orpik and was a guy I wanted them to target to pair with Mike Green, but the $$$ and length of that contract makes no sense. How, as a GM, you cannot come to the conclusion that signing him and/or Niskanen puts the team in a financial hole when they are still a few pieces short of being a legit contender is mind boggling.

  • Cracker Joe

    Well, haven’t we all been rookies at one time?
    Rookie or not, he’s better than McPhee.

  • Cracker Joe

    Hey, Eric.
    I can only speculate that B-Mac ( sorry ) was listening
    to Reirden and Trotz when he decided on Orpik. Look,
    I don’t like the terms either, but maybe, maybe, Reirden
    and Trotz got it right and Orpik will do well in Trotz’s
    system…you know, with more expected defensively of
    the forwards. Also, if Trotz limits Orpik’s minutes to 20
    perhaps he’ll thrive.
    Now, regarding the center position. You and I know that
    Laich and Kuz are not the answer, that’s why I hope
    BM can shed payroll via trades in order to free up enough
    to bring in a legit 2nd line center.
    I’m sweating too, Eric. I’ve suffered so long with the caps
    that I’m close to breaking…we’ve got to improve this
    year or I’m gonna join a monastery in Tibet.

  • Cracker Joe

    Well, maybe BM will turn out okay…but knowing the caps
    history I’m afraid too.
    But thank GOD McPhee is GONE !!!
    Waiter!
    More beer!!!

  • Cracker Joe

    This is why I live in a fantasy world, Eric.
    Caps GM’s.

  • Cracker Joe

    Ian, do you ANY idea the effect this is having on me?
    I was unbalanced BEFORE but you posted this video
    but this has sent me over the edge!!!
    You owe me, Ian !!!
    ( a six-pack of Milwaukee Ice Fedex’d to me might bring me back ! )
    My Best,
    Cracker

  • Cracker Joe

    I’m sorry, Fedor.
    I don’t like the terms either, but Jeez, at least BM
    is trying.

  • Cracker Joe

    Why didn’t those russians demand Kuz be better
    at face-offs?
    Or lift more weights?
    Or eat more?
    I hope we can trade our way to an experienced 2nd line
    center…man, I think I’m gonna pull out my hair.

  • Cracker Joe

    This looks better.
    Green and Orlov must be kept apart at all costs.

  • Eric Schulz

    The problem is: we just signed Orpik to a deal that would’ve been reasonable for Grabovski. Now we are counting on them to be smart in making trades to open up cap room (trading the right players), THEN be smart in signing the right people with the cap room they create. I’m gonna go ahead and bet against it.

  • Rranger

    Way to go Caps lol. You and the Isles keep things light around here.

  • Cracker Joe

    You make some good points, Eric.
    We’ll have to wait and see.