The Orpikalypse Test


I’m starting to get the feeling not everyone agrees about the Brooks Orpik signing. The ex-Penguin defender brings experience and grit to a blue line that lacked both, and for some that makes him a good acquisition. For others, he’s an aging, struggling player on a too-long and too-expensive contract. I count myself among that campI think Neil Greenberg at WaPo did a good job summarizing that position.

Still, there’s always a chance I’m wrong. I’ve certainly been wrong before. I was wrong about the decline of Marcus Johansson. I was wrong about the viability of the Chimera-Ward pairing. I was wrong about the Capitals’ playoff chances in 2013. I could be wrong about Orpik. Like any rational person, I reserve the right to change my mind when more information is presented.

Maybe this is a good opportunity to set terms. What would make for a successful tenure for Brooks Orpik in Washington? I’ve got a proposal for you.

Inspired by @nogoodtrying138, I call it The Orpikalypse Test.

A. Brooks Orpik shall automatically be a success if the following conditions is met:

  1. The Washington Capitals win the Stanley Cup with Orpik on the active roster. Duh.

B. Brooks Orpik shall be a success if any TWO of the following conditions are met :

  1. Orpik posts a positive relative possession score in three or more seasons.
  2. Orpik improves the WOWY possession score of his most frequent defensive pairing partner.
  3. Orpik averages above 21 minutes of ice time through the life of his contract (3+ years).
  4. Orpik scores 10 goals and 30 assists in two out of five seasons.
  5. Orpik plays top-4 minutes in the final year of his contract.

C. Brooks Orpik shall NOT be a success if ANY of the following conditions are met:

  1. The conditions in sections A and B are not met.
  2. Orpik is bought out.
  3. Orpik is traded with salary retained.
  4. Orpik fails to play in 75% of games in three or more seasons.
  5. Esa Tikkanen.

D. The test shall be deemed inconclusive if ANY of the following conditions are met:

  1. Orpik is traded before his third season and no salary is retained.
  2. Orpik fails a physical for concussion or catastrophic injury. (The Pronger Clause)

Does this sound fair? Any recommendations for additions or edits?

Tagged with:
  • Andrew Merewitz

    Esa Tikkanen. Always a baseline for measuring caps player’s failures.

  • Josh Carey

    I like it. However I think 10 goals may be a bit of a stretch for a season considering he’s got 13 in his career. Might want to reconsider that one.

  • A good question from Twitter:

    I’m leaning towards saying Section B would trump C-5. Your thoughts?

  • Graham Dumas

    A bunch of people are citing a buy-out as a viable exit strategy after a couple of decent years. Those decent years could trigger the conditions in A or B, but if they don’t, I think having buy-out on the list of automatic FAILS might be erroneous.

  • Hmm. That’s tough. I really think a buyout in year 4 would still mean it’s not a success as that $$$ would hurt in the subsequent years.

  • Josh Carey

    I’d find it hard to believe that he would be bought out if any conditions of A or B have been/are being met.

  • I was thinking if he gets a) better zone starts, b) PP time, and/or c) some luck, it’d be doable— I don’t want it to be a gimme though. It’s still only one of five ways to satisfy section B.

  • Pat Magee

    I just have this gut feeling that he’s gonna surprise everybody and be a real solid D-man for 3 seasons…. Depending on who is partner(s) are, he could totally get 30-40 points in a season.

    I’m optimistic.

  • Graham Dumas

    True. I’m just recognizing the possibility.

  • Good. I added B-2 for this exact reason. Orpik could post a 52% shot-attempt percentage with Mike Green with a ton of offensive zone starts and still not be successful. If he makes the team BETTER while doing that (B-1 and B-2), then I’d agree.

    And good on you for the optimism.

  • He sells more jersey’s than John Carlson?

  • motion denied

  • Dan Curry

    Oh gosh I thought that was from Jeff Schultz for a second and almost sharted.

  • Hahahaha

  • Graham Dumas

    True. The money is really where this deal falls apart for me as well. I’m just wondering if there’s some condition under which he might perform well, but not quite A/B well, get bought out later, and still overall be deemed a success. Maybe that condition doesn’t exist, I don’t know…

  • I see what you mean. I could imagine something like that existing. Pitch some specifics?

    (Now that I think of it, I should add a “defects to the KHL” condition. Just in case.)

  • But America Peter! AMERICA!

  • Josh Carey

    No conditions of A or B are met, BUT he is a +20 or better in the first three seasons. Problem solved.

  • Graham Dumas

    Hey, that KHL defection could be an AWESOME exit strategy for us. Maybe GMBM’s already engaged in secret, backroom negotiations with Admiral Vladivostok as we speak…

    Specifics? Well, let’s see: No Stanley Cup (sorry, guys) + 18/19 min as a 2D or reliable 3D, solid Corsi-Rel. On this team, with the dearth of actual D out there, maybe that’s worth 5 mil/year for three years, plus 3+ mil/year after the buyout. Maybe it’s a good (and REALLY expensive) way to build up our D corps for the future?

    Tough to justify that money… #Grabo.

  • But for reals, I’d add a clause about not enough substantial evidence means the Russian Machine Team votes, or races, or places bets, or fights Neil, or something.

  • mxhockey

    The bottom line, both of these guys where paid way too much. If the new GM was a good business man he would of signed both of these guys for way less and signed Grabo. We still do not have a 2nd line center.

  • Josh Carey

    He couldn’t have signed them both for less money. Orpik maybe, but Niskanen would have gotten the money that the Caps gave him if they didn’t sign him. I also heard Orpik had similar offers to the on GMBM gave him. It wasn’t possible to get Orpik, Niskanen and Grabo.

  • John Bolt

    as if scoring on that breakaway he flubbed would have made any difference pissing into that hurricane that was the Red Wings of that era.

  • 5manfront

    Why you are expecting a Defensive Defenseman, who gets nearly all of his starts in the d-zone, plays a ton of PK minutes (and no PP), and is known primarily for blocking shots, clearing creases, and hitting… to get 40 points? It’s like saying Ovie would be considered a success if he was a finalist for the Selke (ok that’s a bit of hyperbole, but you get the comparison). You’re asking an apple to make orange juice.

    Just for comparison, let’s look at my favorite DFD of all time, Scott Stevens. HOF, and widely considered to be among the top few defensemen in the league for several years.

    For the final 10 years of his career, only once did he get over 30 points, and not once did he get 10 or more goals. Still a great defenseman. Orpik obviously isn’t Stevens, but you have to consider them by similar metrics. Orpik is something this team has needed for a long time: a large, veteran crease-clearing defenseman who blocks shots (bonus points for being a lefty). Term and money are too long and too much, but when the laws of supply and demand kick in, it’s hard to get a scarce commodity on the cheap.

  • Can we stop freaking out now?

    Wait….we’re going to judge whether or not our signings were good or bad based off of results? WHAT A NOVEL CONCEPT

  • John Bolt

    maybe it’s even still a failure IF the above conditions are met, and none around him elevate their play. Maybe it’s still a success if not enough of the above conditions are met, yet many around him are positively influenced by his presence and do become better defensemen for it?

  • Toph Love

    What if we make it to Stanley cup finals 3 yrs in a row but lose every game 7 cuz MG52 fumbles puck behind the net instead of giving orpik the outlet pass

  • LasagnaSonja

    As if the conclusions y’all have come to really determine whether hes a success or not….

  • Matt Lauer

    I would be inclined to say that some differential between team wins vs. individual penalties taken, or points vs. individual penalties taken, or even blocked shots vs. individual penalties taken could be a relevant stat for this player.

  • Sasha Liles

    Another martyrish type of post. Kidding! Just kidding! Great post Peter.

  • Sasha Liles

    I did the same thing!

  • Sasha Liles

    If nothing else, you have to admit Orpik gives good face.

  • John Bolt

    For me it’s a success if the Caps actually become a stout defensive team, and maintain that for at least the next 5 years.

    Even if Orpik’s individual performance isn’t ultimately going to be (seasons 4-5 of his contract) a major factor in the team’s play, his influence may be. Or at least that’s my hope anyways.

  • pat

    You all are smoking crack. Caps were worst defense in the NHL last year. Just dreadful. Who cares what Orpik makes. The defense will be better. Greenberg makes sport unenjoyable with his over reliance on stats. Greenberg when Babe Ruth was playing would say he strikes out too much. Caps are now meaner, tougher and more balanced on the Blue line. Put that in your pipe. I am by no means a Kool Aid drinker but good job Caps. If Greenberg was such a genius maybe he should become head on player personnel for the Hawks or Kings. It must pay well to be a critic before one puck is dropped..

  • FirstCapsFan

    I’ve been following the Caps now for 40 years. I was a kid now I’m a very middle aged man. I love this site. I agree with the views most of the time. Not this one. For my money,Orpik is the pure best defensive D-man in the game. I don’t know much about Corsi or Fenwick but I do know the game, having been fortunate enough to play it on the collegiate level. He stays in position. He hits like a Mack truck. He clears the crease. He blocks shots. He’s no Duncan Keith but he’s also no John Erskine if you know what I mean. I would have guessed his Cap hit to be about what it was given his experience, Stanley Cup ring and reputation. I would’ve like to see the deal no longer than four years but GMBM said it was necessary to get the job done. Orpik could fade away like Poti or he could be like Nick Lindstrom. Only time will tell.

    To me the real risk here is Niskanen. He has only one strong year under his belt. If he doesn’t continue to improve this contract could be an albatross. However if he continues to prove improve they could’ve got a steal.

    The bottom line is after many years of standing pat or producing minor deals they at least took a chance to move forward.

    I want a Cup! I don’t have another 40 years to wait!

  • fallsch

    I think we need to consider how well the young D core progresses with his mentoring as well. It’s entirely possible he can’t pull any more than 3rd pair minutes but could bet the D as a whole playing better.

  • 70Caps

    Cant the caps just trade for grabovski?

  • pixiestix

    what about if he inspires an epic RMNB t-shirt in his tenure a la swedes on bikes, free wardo, etc

  • Alex

    Some people don’t seem to get why others don’t like these deals.

    Yes, the Caps had terrible D last year. Yes, these two contracts have greatly improved the Caps D this year. Yes, Orpik and Niskanen are both good D-men who can teach the younger Caps D prospects.

    The problem is these contracts are so over-the-top that if the Caps don’t win the cup soon (I say within 2 years, others say 3) they will be hamstrung by them and unable to make the changes they need. Add to this uncertainties like the 2C problem, whether Brooks Laich and Mike Green will rebound, where and how much Wilson/Kuznetsov will play and you can see how some might see these deals as buying the Caps 3 years of second round exits and then a full rebuild.

  • Austin

    Honestly the way I see it, is that if we do not win the Cup in 2-4 years, the contracts wont matter because Backstrom and Ovechkin will be out of their prime anyway, so we really only have a 3 year window for the Cup. I do care about the Kuznetsov Burakovsky era, but right now its all about Holtbeast Backstrom and “Freaking Ovie”.

    PS: sure the caps will be f&&ked later down the road with these contracts if they dont pay off but the time window we have for success is slim regardless.

  • Searle

    +/-, PK % while he’s on the ice, save % while he’s on the ice or stats like that would maybe be a better than points. If Orpik is paired with Mike Green and Green gets 30 goals, 70 points but Orpik only gets 10 points is he a failure?

    Orpikalypse test is a genius name by the way.

  • Igor Kleyner

    So, which contract will be worse – Orpik’s in 2018, or Ovie’s in 2020?

  • Searle

    What about PK % while he’s on the ice? save % while he’s on the ice? Maybe number of hits? +/-? Number of points seems a bit harsh, especially 40 points for a defensive D.

  • John M

    Can’t we put something in here about the PK? You all noted we had a historically bad PK last year; while it stands to reason that we’d get better regardless, don’t you need “defensive D-men” on the PK especially?

  • Marky Narc

    ^ This right here. I’m as crestfallen as any Capitals fan that he sent that puck wide, but it’s not like we would have gone on to take that series if Tik had scored. I’m not convinced we would have won *that game* had he scored.

  • Marky Narc

    Worst defense in the NHL last year *under Adams Oates’ system.

    Fixed that for you.

  • Toph Love

    I find it funny ( humorous as well as ironic) that Grabo whom Peter loves so much failed at C-4 only played in 70%

  • UnleashThyFury

    Good Q. I think Orpik. Ovi will be 35. Orpik will be 38 or 37 and his contract looks bad already. Obviously Ovechkin’s cap number will be $9.5m which is insane for a player in his mid-30s. Looking at some of the older wingers, St. Louis had a great season at 39. Iginla bounced back at 37. I don’t think either was as good as Ovi in their prime. And while you obviously cant expect someone to hold up as well as Jagr, he’s like 88 years old and still an effective player. I just dont see Orpik contributing as a top 4 D in 5 years. I definitely see Ovi as an effective line 1 winger for the remainder of his current deal. Maybe not a star, but a goal scorer and a power play monster. but the 9.5 wont look great.

  • UnleashThyFury

    I agree it’s painful to invest that much in Orpik when we were so close to freeing ourselves of Green’s monster contract. Which combined with the Backy and Ovi deals really hampered our ability to do much in FA or at deadlines. Then to go ahead and throw 5m a year at another injury prone D?? Learn from GMGM’s mistakes, GMBM, come on.

  • One season.

  • Something about limiting shots? I dunno how best to measure that. Thoughts?

  • I don’t like you very much.

  • Stipulated. Let the record show Orpik gives good face.

  • I totally agree, but it’s still fun to go for the joke.

  • I cannot take credit for the name.

  • There is some validity to this– fan favoriteness– but I don’t know how to measure it.

  • Alternatives?

  • Marky Narc

    By the way, how would Orpik “Esa Tikkanen”? Or do I even want to know? D:

  • To Esa Tikkanen, Orpik would have to have a layup-type opportunity at a crucial moment of a very, very big game– and blow it tragicomically,

  • Marky Narc

    Noted. Heck, I’ll be happy if the Caps *play* in a bunch of very, very big games in the next handful of seasons.

  • James Desautels

    There is absolutely 0 chance B4/5 have a shot at happening. I don’t know Orpik’s career scoring averages but I know he’s nowhere near a 10G guy. The only way this happens is if he and TWilly are sharing the same shift and they somehow manage to knock all 5 players into the third row of seats then TWilly stares down the goalie so freaking hardcore and raw that the goalie is afraid to look Orpik in the eyes as he taps in an easy goal. Then repeat this exact scenario 9 more times.

    That ain’t happening. BUT I also reserve the right to change my mind if it does and say “nailed it.”

  • Barrett

    I’d take Dan Girardi or Dion Phaneuf over Brooks Orpik, along with Zdeno Chara, Ryan Sutter and Shea Weber.

  • Barrett

    He has good coaching.

  • Bilal

    We have a solid D now. We have a great coach. I think Barry Trotz is going to find a way to make this work. Plus, I think Orpik and Niskanen should be a bit more comfortable playing here because Todd Rierden is the assistant.

    One Problem people had in the McPhee era was that he wasn’t spending too much during free agency. GMBM has just shown that he’ll be spending money to make sure players come to DC for once. Yes, I hate Orpik’s contract (not Oprik, his contract). And yes, we overpaid like HELL. But at least we’re doing something for once. I Hope that this works out, and I get a feeling it will (I better not have jinxed it)

  • Barrett

    ….or MoJo cannot win a faceoff…or Ovechkin has controller disconnect…or Carlson cannot keep the puck in the zone on a power play…

  • Bilal
  • James Desautels

    I do see much validity in your post. It is also very right on as far as a review of Orpik’s intangibles and “hockey sense” in relation to his zone positioning. But I do think 5 years for an aging Dman who plays the harder style that he does is probably not going to make it full term. On the other hand, while Niskanen may very well have been overpaid this week but the whole league knew that someone was going to do just that. Fortunately, he has plenty of prime career to prove his worth and luckily he is a very good skater, which as a Puck mover Dman is like 75% of the battle already. We also have enough depth at D now that any 1 of our top 6 doesn’t have to be “the man” 82 nights, which was a glaring problem the last few years with inexperience and injuries to our D corps forcing guys like Carrick, Wet, Schmidt, etc to get thrown to the wolves way too often.

    Ultimately, the East is wide open and if we had a more reliable and experienced D corps I believe we could possibly make a run. But then we hit the Western teams and their lineups full of all star 2 way Cs and were doomed since we choose to ignore the fact that we have 1 bonafide NHL C on our roster.

  • Toph Love

    100% of his career as a cap, only 48 games season before for leafs and only 9 goals and 7 assists, looks like a bad trend to me bet he misses at least 20 games next season

  • I’ll take that bet!

  • Barrett

    I find it hard to believe that Ted Leonsis is willing to pay him $3.63mil per year over a 4 year period. There are no more compliance buyouts after July 1, 2014.

  • BPThomas

    not for 5 million you wouldn’t

  • Toph Love

    Ok figure out what u wanna bet ( note I am not wearing spandex nor do I have a desire to see you in it) you do realize he has missed more than 20 games in half the seasons he has been in the nhl

  • JessHughes

    B.6 if Orpik retires (salary comes off the Cap because he signed 50% or b) in the top 4 of all current Caps D-men. I think we all fail to realize that, statistically speaking, Orpik is unlikely to be an active at then end of the contract term.

  • Barrett

    The contract amount wasn’t what I was referring to – it was his statement that Brooks Orpik is the best shutdown defenseman in the game.

    However, since you brought it up :

    1. Dan Girardi has $5.5mil cap hit for 6 years signed this year at age 30.
    2. Zdeno Chara has a $6.9mil cap hit over 7 years signed 3 years ago at age 34.
    3. Dion Phaneuf has a $7.0mil cap hit over 7 years signed this year at age 29.
    4. Ryan Suter has a $7.5mil cap hit over 13 years signed 2 years ago at age 27.
    5. Shea Weber has a $7.8mil cap hit over 14 years signed 2 years ago at age 26.

  • DashingDave314

    Should have something about QOC% in there. Maybe above 25% for 3 of 5 seasons?

  • DashingDave314

    How about in number of times he’s gif’ed (and not for something embarrassing)?

  • pixiestix

    +1 already because he’s done a You Can Play video.

    yeah fan favoriteness will be tough to measure…resulting T shirt sales ranking? Caps fans can definitely come up with a better nickname than the Penguins fans did.

  • Brooks Orpik

    You speak the truth brother thanks for standing up for me! Peter you were right about Marcus sucking though, I really don’t wanna play with him.

  • Diller M

    I like it, straight forward, measurable and it is very fair. Perhaps a post on how you arrived at each of the criteria for a success vs cap comparables.

  • pixiestix

    or perhaps if he inspires some knuble knights/brouwer ranger caliber super fans. might i suggest Orpixies! 😉

  • Diller M

    see Chris Wondolowski

  • Diller M

    Only if this ends in Ian wearing fairy wings, and possibly a tutu

  • Scott Mallon

    This is how it is.

    A contract doesn’t have to be good for it to be a good acquisition for the team.

    It’s a good acquisition for the team. He’s apparently a hard worker in the offseason and takes care of his body.

    It’s not a contract you want to take on. But we didn’t give up anything except for $$ to get him. It’s not like we traded away anything for a stupid contract on an aging player. We’re losing money, money that we, as fans, do not have to spend.

    We shouldn’t be worried, because if we have to do something. We have a lot of options. Just because we are at the cap right now has no bearing on how the team will perform. The move will not handcuff the organization in who they can or can not sign. We did not want grabovski back clearly because management wants Kuznetsov at center.

    We finally have a somewhat stacked defensive core with maturity and NHL Experience along with a cup. It’s a solid D-core.

    In the words of Ovechkin ” It is what it is”

    Be happy the defense is upgraded, not that we are spending a crap ton of money. Money shouldn’t be our problem. If it becomes a problem, we’ll buy him out or put him on waivers. And once again, that wouldn’t be our problem, because we didn’t give up anything to get him.

    We had the space and used it.

    Let’s see what happens.

  • Diller M

    can we add If he mentors Alzner or Carlson to a Norris to section B?

  • Igor Kleyner

    “Orpik scores 10 goals”… Over the last 5 full NHL season, teams averaged about 0.8 D-man who scored in double digits. Even Orpik’s biggest fans will not claim that he is an offensive threat of that caliber. I understand putting a finger on the scale – but this is more like an anchor ! 🙂
    A test should not require more than 1 season – nobody but the most dedicated Goat Blood and Kool-Aid drinkers have attention span that will last that long. I like QOC, but with a twist…
    I think it is a consensus that with players like Orpik, his teams will try to play him tough minutes against best forwards. So, if at the end of the season Orpik has faced significantly tougher minutes at home than away – it is probably because when Caps are on the road, the other team (who has the last change) try to protect their top players from facing him. If it’s the other way around – it probably means that Caps are protecting Orpik from tough minutes, which is obviously easier to do at home. If its the former – Caps got what they wanted. If it’s the latter – they didn’t.

  • Mike Honcho

    With Carlson, Niskanin, and maybe still green, doubt he’s seeing much on the pp.

  • CJ Easton

    Maybe shot per 2 min of Pk ~2? Could be asking a lot of 2 or fewer shots on goal allowed per 2 min of PK would be pretty darn solid if that would be maintainable. If not a more realistic number in-lieu of 2 would be appropriate.

  • JH

    Really it all comes down to the playoffs — forget the stats. If the Caps make a deeper run than they have in the Ovi era, then yep, it was worth it. If they don’t, it wasn’t. I think this was the right move, and I am willing to judge it simply on that.

  • CJ Easton

    I tend to agree with Mike Honcho below me. Alzner doesn’t see a lot of time on the PP and with Nskanin added to mix I highly, HIHGLY doubt Orpik will see much at all. Better zones start may or may not happen depending on where Trotz values him the most. I honestly think even adding in luck 6 would be a reach.

  • CJ Easton

    I like your twist on QoC. I agree 100% about the Goal demand from a guy who has 12 in his career and stated as much before on a response to Peter.

  • Michael Reschly

    I think condition (A) should be extended through his line of succession, should he be traded. If he’s traded for some key piece at the deadline, and we win the cup that season, being a good enough chip for the trade to happen should warrant a declaration success.

    I also think (A) should also include 100+ point regular seasons (maybe require 2 of them?). If I recall correctly, you (Peter) note that luck plays a much larger role in the playoffs because the sample size is so small (in other words, if the team gets Halak’d, that shouldn’t be held against him).

  • CJ Easton

    Ok I will take the easy open shot and say that in dedicating that money to Orpik we did not do so towards Grabo. In effect we lost something we could have retained.

    Think of this less as losing $$ and more in losing Cap space. I wouldn’t care if starting this year the NHL had NFL sized Salary caps if we still can’t stay under it and effectively fill our gaps.

  • CJ Easton

    I just reread B4 and suddenly realize I need some clarification on how you mean this.

    “Orpik scores 10 goals and 30 assists in two out of five seasons.”

    Is this combined (add together his two best years) or is this really 10G and 30A in two separate seasons? I can actually believe the first is fully attainable and possibly too low for the assists if its his Best of 5.

    That said if it’s the latter I think that Goal point is way WAY too high for a defensive defenseman. Using the most obvious other one we have Alzner, in 6 years in a Caps sweater (discounting all Hershey work) has 7 goals and 55 assists total. You are asking Orpik to super-seed that goal total and better than halve that career assist mark in a single year… twice? It’s so unrealistic that in fairness to Brooks (am I really defending him here?) those totals need to be dropped.

    However I like the same figure if its his best 2 years over the duration of his contract combined.

  • GraboviMyBozak

    My conditions are WAY different. He’s a defensive defense man. Why would you judge him on points, goal or possession. I think playoff success counts more than anything but I also think that since he’s a defensive D, he should be judged by blocked shots and hits. I think he should have about 150 blocked shots and at least 220 hits in 3 of the 5 years for him to be a success. If we make it to the conference finals it’s a success no matter what. As long as he’s in the line up.

  • CJ Easton

    220 hits is 2.62 hits a game. That’s certainly possible but I would call it a bit high. 180 hits (2.195 Hits per game) is a MUCH more reasonable number.

    Also for some interesting insight into something that realates to Ovi and why he is a beast but also influences my statement above read:

    Second post is the more recent

  • GraboviMyBozak

    He’s had at least 200 hits for about 5-6 straight years now. I think it’s fair to say 220 is what he should get.

  • Igor Kleyner

    Yay, lets tear Peter’s English apart! (I am entitled to this dig, as a regular victim of his editorial abuse!) The condition “Orpik fails to play in 75% of games in three or more seasons.” – I think I can read it at least 4 different ways!

  • CJ Easton

    Ouch, fitting but OUCH!

  • Pat Magee

    Even then, he could net a fair amount of secondary assists… Throws it up to Nicky, who gives it to Ovi, who scores.

  • CapNMac

    Well, we were not winning with Grabo and a less than stellar defense. We tried that last year. Besides Grabo was asking for more from us than he took from NYI. Thanks for the loyalty. Now we see why his previous stops don’t have anything good to say about him. Some people just don’t change.
    And he wanted it to be a package deal with Kuliman (spelling?)

    As far as salary cap, everyone was complaining that we were not a good enough team to attract top talent anyway, so now Trotz and GM Mac feel we can win, so maybe we can attract some players in the future when Laich, Ward, and Green fall off the cap.

  • Ash

    What I really want to know is if anyone winds up in spandex if the Orpikalypse test is passed.

  • starsandbeyond

    I tried to explain this test to my partner, and he just furrowed his brow and asked, “Old pickle lips?”

    New player nickname unlocked.

  • Searle

    Don’t you guys just wish Orpik was on a $3m 3 year deal so everyone could be happy about it and buzz that our great new GM filled a hole?

  • Searle

    Would be interested to see the other offers he got, anyone know what teams were chasing his from the rumour mill?

  • DashingDave314

    Honestly, if Orpik’s deal was 60% of its length and money, I’d be quite happy. I wonder who the other team that offered Orpik 5 years was? That has Toronto/Edmonton written all over it.

  • DashingDave314

    Yeah, we’ll have a good amount of cap space next year. I think we overpaid for Orpik, but at least Mac saw a need and addressed it.

  • CJ Easton

    NP. I freely admit I was taking my estimations based on faulty judgement but 220 really takes its toll on the body. That said as you have pointed out it is well within his reach.

  • CJ Easton

    I’d say while ‘not winning’ with Grabo may or may not be true, we were better with him than without; bad teams find it hard to win and let’s not discount Oates in that factor. Also I don’t think he asked any less from the NYI than he did from us and was bargained down on the second day when some teams, such as us, could no longer even make a play for him.

    I am hopeful about the future though as you point out we have a bit coming off the cap fairly soon.

  • Searle

    If he served as an assistant captain surely that would indicate his respect from the team/presence in the dressing room? (One of the “intangibles”)

  • OlietheGoalie


    So we don’t want him to pull a Tikkanen wide shot. I get it – BUT that would mean we actually get to the Cup, yes? Doesn’t that count for something, or is it “win the Cup or don’t even go” mindset?

  • OlietheGoalie

    I posted the same below, but just to say it again in hopes someone answers… If Orpik pulls a Tikkanen shot, does this mean we make the Cup series? Isn’t that a good thing, or are we in “win the Cup or not even go” mindset?

  • OlietheGoalie

    I’d back that Kickstarter.

  • Cthulu’s Alarm Clock

    I threw in NHL 14 & updated my roster to reflect the additions/subtractions (got rid of Grabo & Halak, added Nisky/Orpik/Conner/Peters). Now, I am well aware that a sports video game is by no means an indicator of a team’s success or lack thereof (we’d’ve won at LEAST 6 Stanley Cups by now if that were the case)…

    …That being said: We did not do well offensively.

  • Barrett

    Yes. We had to be the top destination for both guys after we hired Reirden, their old position coach from Pittsburgh. I bet a team like Toronto, as @DashingDave314:disqus mentioned, threw a ton of years and money at one or both and Washington had to counter to get them here. It’s been reported that the Red Wings offered Niskanen a 7 year contract in the $35mil range. So, he obviously took the larger contract and destination of his position coach in favor of a team that historically has a better chance of winning.

  • Rob Young

    You’re right. We should have signed Girardi. Oh wait, he’s not a free agent. Why didn’t they sign Bobby Orr? He’s also not available. They got the best guy available.

  • dylan wheatley

    actually they specifically got the worst

  • Barrett

    The best guy available isn’t even a top 5 player at his position and if I spent the time I could probably fund another five players better than him. So, no, you don’t pay the best guy available top tier money. That was my point. Thanks for reading.

  • Rob Young

    The “thanks for coming out… thanks for reading…” comments suggest that you have just definitively won an argument and made your opponent look foolish. If you consider anything that you have said (particularly comments about signing players who aren’t available) to be a genius smack-down, you really should consider who actually sounds foolish.

  • Rob Young

    Both “D” scenarios neglect whether he has succeeded or failed leading up to them. Therefore, I wouldn’t call either of them inconclusive. Unless he never plays for us because of injury/physical. In that case, I would call it a “no harm, no fowl,” or perhaps less accurately, a mulligan.

  • Barrett

    I never once made any statements about signing any unavailable players to contracts. Read the entire thread of comments.. I listed players whom I consider some of the top shutdown style defensemen in the NHL, in response to the originating comment stating “Brooks Orpik is the pure best defensive D-man in the game”, as players I would rank over Orpik. A response was made that you wouldn’t be able to sign any of those guys for $5mil, I cleared that up by showing how Girardi has the same cap hit as Orpik, proving in fact one could be signed for that amount. Thanks.

  • Matt Root

    As if they’re some defensive juggernaut from regime’s past

  • Mal

    Orpik signing is retarded.

    Those who are trying to justify it suffer from late-stage Stockholm syndrome. Poor bastards.

    That is all.

  • pat

    That is pretty good and true. Lets not forget what a great visionary Oates is with goaltenders and systems as well. Remember Oates said he know every position.

  • CapNMac

    The fact that Girardi is playing on a 5 mil contract with the Rangers does not prove your point that the Caps could sign him or some other top Dman for that. If anything you are proving his point for him.

  • DashingDave314

    It would be quite difficult, if not impossible, to tell if he would have a role in that.

  • Barrett

    I never stated the Caps could sign him. I said I would rank Girardi, Chara, Phaneuf, Suter or Weber as better shutdown defenseman over Orpik. His response was you couldn’t sign any of those guys to a $5mil per year contract, as in the players I listed all would be too expensive and Orpik’s contract was some sort of deal. I proved that one of those players could be signed for $5mil, but never said it was the Capitals who would sign him. Read the whole thread before you jump on someone.

  • DashingDave314

    I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he was named one before this season.

  • CapNMac

    Then he is right: we couldn’t sign them, and certainly not for 5 mil.
    Don’t play the victim. You are the one getting snarky.

  • Here’s how we’ll measure it: if Orpik has more mentions in Alzner or Carlson’s memoirs than Mike Green, he counts as a mentor.

  • It wouldn’t be hard for a defensive defenseman to get those totals. Remember: he’s playing on a new team and may get new deployments on a new team. He may get PP time on one of the best PPs in the league. He may get a crazy shooting %.

    I’m not *expecting* it to happen, but if it did, that’d be enough to qualify Orpik as a success in my book.

  • Barrett

    I guess he missed the fact that NONE of the players I listed were currently free agents….? He just wanted to point out that Girardi wasn’t available because he’s the one with an identical contract to Orpik, 3 years younger and a better player.

    The point in all this? GMBM made a bad signing, because he signed an aging (+/-)10th ranked defensive defenseman to a contract comparable to what the guys in the top 5 receive.

  • Jonah

    i think one clause of the contract is that if, after 3 years, the RMNB staff will wear an outfit to be chosen by a majority vote of RMNB readers/frequent commentors

  • Jonah

    if there is a mention by name in eithers’ norris exceptance speech, we have a success. OR if either alzner/carlson/orpik are nominated in a year we go to conference finals+

  • Jonah

    Peter i disagree with the goal parameter statistic and with this comment. as a defensive defenseman i don’t think he will (or SHOULD) get a majority of o-zone starts.

    a DD should play a lot of time in the D-zone because stopping other teams from scoring will be his greatest asset. i think he will be deployed against many team’s top lines, top lines whose coach will want them to start in the o-zone.

    just like you say that OV shouldn’t be playing BETTER defense, he should be playing LESS defense, i don’t think that orpik needs to play more Offense, but use the strengths that he already has.
    with niskanen, green, karlson, alzner in the lineup, i think trotz should use any of those players when he has an 0-zone start and keep orpik for when we have a d-zone start because thats where he is most valuable.

  • BPThomas

    Irrelevant. Even if he went back into free agency right now and signed with the caps he would get a hell of a lot more than 5.5 based on his most recent playoff performance. So, no, you wouldn’t.

  • jalabar

    I can live with the AAV on Orpik’s salary. I would have preferred the Caps had even gone higher on AAV with a three year deal. BUT, Orpik’s NTC is only for three years, and if the Caps can dump him after three, maybe to a team looking to get to the floor, the deal won’t hurt much long term. Short term, this is a much better defensive team than we saw last year. Orpik adds something this team did not have. Alzner is not physical enough to be your shut-down D guy and Erskine is not hockey enough. For this season and likely next, Orpik and Carlson should be an outstanding pairing against top lines. Niskanen and Alzner or Green and Alzner should be good in role, and Green or Niskanen and Orlov, with favorable starts and opp should be wolves among sheep. Add in Trotz and co. vs. The Three Stooges and Korn working with rather than fucking with Holts, and this team can be a really good defensive team.
    Orpik’s deal probably won’t be very good in the third year, and lousy in the 4th and 5th, but I have seen teams like the Flyers and Rangers get in Cap hell and get out of it. No reason Washington can’t do that as well. My biggest complaint about the FA signings is that I really wanted a #2C. But I understand that the best of those was too expensive (Stasny) and some were too wtfy (Grabo and Kulemin). And then we had some guys that were Richards. Others like Legwand weren’t really #2 guys (though better than our current in-house options). But we still have a few months. We still have a surplus of wing talent. We still have some really nice prospects, and future draft choices. So there’s time. With a better #2 than Laich/Mojo/Kuz/Fehr, and this D, this is a SCF contender.
    Where they likely get stomped by whoever comes out of the West (St. L). But steps…

  • Ben Reed

    “What I wonder is whether people in hockey have their weighting wrong with some players, particularly defencemen… They see the things that they do well, the things that they do poorly and, just like Joe Morgan, they tote it up wrong.”


    There is no denying Orpik does those things well: hits hard, plays in position, etc. The question is: if you accept that every aspect of a player’s game contributes to his OVERALL valuation (by definition, it does), then taking all of those abilities on the whole, is he a good player?

    The fact that he has little/no offensive value is irrelevant to whether he plays good positioning in the D zone; but it IS relevant to whether or not he is worth $5 million+/year.

  • Fedor

    “Orpik is the pure best defensive D-man in the game” — Orpik is 25th among D in quality of competition and 82nd (bottom half!) in DZone starts, which means that we didn’t even see him in a shutdown role last season. Guys like Vlasic, Hamhuis, Giordano, McDonagh, E.Johnson, Hjalmarsson, Girardi, Alzner, Oduya, Greene — they’re the elite shutdown guys.

  • Scott Mallon

    yo rob you are frying barrett up so bad, this is great reading.

  • Scott Mallon

    thank god someone said it.