FILE PHOTO: Apr 24, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik (44) skates away with the game puck after the CapitalsÕ game against the Carolina Hurricanes in game seven of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Capital One Arena. USA TODAY Sports
Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik retired from the NHL after 15 seasons.
Orpik, 38, said Tuesday he would call it a career after 1,035 career games.
“I’ve been extremely lucky to have the best job in the world for many years, but my body is telling me it is time to move on to something new,” Orpik said in a statement issued by the Capitals. “I’m excited for more family time and to experience a lot of the things that being a professional athlete forces you to miss out on. Thank you to the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins for giving me the opportunity to play against the best athletes in the world. I’ll be forever grateful for the memories and relationships that hockey has given me.”
Drafted 18th overall in the 2000 NHL Draft by the Penguins, Orpik finished his college career the next season with a national championship at Boston College.
Not long after, he became a leader and fixture for Pittsburgh and played on his first Stanley Cup-winning team in 2008-09.
He signed with the Capitals as a free agent in 2014 and helped Washington cap the 2017-18 season with the Stanley Cup.
“Batya was a great leader in our locker room and was so important for us to win our first Stanley Cup,” Alex Ovechkin said Tuesday. “We will miss his presence in the room and on the ice. Not only was he a great leader and a player, but he was a better person. I’m so happy I had a chance to play with him and for our young guys to have had the chance to learn from him. I want to wish him, Erin and his kids the best. We will miss him and the Batya protein shakes!”
The left-hander had 194 career points (176 assists) and played in 156 career playoff games.
—Field Level Media