Brooks Oprik turned down an offer by the Penguins yesterday. His agent mentioned that the two sides are still talking however.
Assuming Orpik reaches some sort of long-term deal with the team and assuming he stays healthy during the duration of that deal, he's not that far away from owning a fairly distinct place in Penguins history.
As it stands right now, Orpik has played 297 games in his Penguins career. That ranks 15th all-time on the team's list among defenseman. That's 324 games less than Ron Stackhouse who is first on that list. In other words, Orpik is just under four complete seasons from overtaking Stackhouse:
|1. Ron Stackhouse||621|
|2. Dave Burrows||573|
|3. Ian Moran||433|
|4. Rod Buskas||621|
|5. Darius Kasparaitis||405|
|6. Randy Carlyle||397|
|7. Jim Johnson||390|
|8. Russ Anderson||353|
|9. Randy Hillier||343|
|10. Larry Murphy||621|
|11. Paul Coffey||331|
|12. Josef Melichar||310|
|13. Bryan Watson||304|
|14. Doug Bodger||299|
|15. Brooks Orpik||297|
Ulf Samuelsson, easily the most celebrated physical blueliner in the franchise's history, is 16th on this list with 277 games.
As a defensive player, there aren't a lot of ways to quantify what you've accomplished through statistics. Aside from blocked shots, there really isn't a definitive defensive statistic. Hit totals are inconsistent and plus/minus can be misleading.
The above list tells two things about Orpik:
1.) He's been fairly durable for playing such a physical style of play. Other than a sitting out a handful of games for some hand, shoulder and foot injuries, Orpik hasn't missed much time.
2.) He's played well enough to merit that time. Granted, he "competed" against the likes of Josef Melicar, Ric Jackman and Steve Poapst during parts of his career for a spot in the lineup, but the bottom line is he dressed.
So what is Brooks Orpik worth? We can't say. All it takes is one general manager to go into Kevin Lowe mode and set the mark with some absurd offer. But regardless of where Brooks Oprik plays next season, you know you'll be getting a player who at the very least will show up.
That and give out some free candy:
EMPTY NETTER ASSISTS
-Marian Hossa is among a group of investors trying to purchase the Portland Winter Hawks, a junior team in the Western Hockey League.
-The agent for Rangers forward and former Penguin Martin Straka denied a report his client signed with a team in the Czech Republic.
-The Islanders are expected to buy out forward Shawn Bates.
-Devils defenseman Bryce Salvador would like a no-trade clause in his next contract.
-Recent drafts by the Montreal Canadiens have had a rather American feel to them as of late.
-After realizing old injury-prone players like Mats Sundin and Darcy Tucker aren't the answer, the Maple Leafs might go after some young, spry healthy bodies like Curtis Joseph and Gary Roberts.
-The Panthers signed a two-year deal with forward Gregory Campbell.
-The Lightning struck down rumors defenseman Dan Boyle would be moved.
-Ducks defenseman Scott Niedermayer officially announced he would return next season. With is return, the Ducks do have some salary cap issues.
-The Stars extended qualifying offers to forwards Loui Eriksson, B.J. Crombeen, Vojtech Polak, Konstantin Pushkarev, Francis Wathier and defenseman Vadim Khomitski.
-Stars forward and former Penguin Stu Barnes declined to comment on a rumor he would retire and become an assistant coach with Dallas.
-Avalanche goaltender Jose Theodore will test free agency.
-The league's salary will be set at $56.7 million for the 2008-09 season. The "low" cap will be $40.7 million.
-Georges James Malik of Mlive.com says the owners are to blame for the cap jumping nearly $17 since it was instituted in 2005.