Before the Washington Capitals and the New York Islanders dropped the puck, veteran defenseman Brooks Orpik was recognized for his recent achievement of playing in 1,000 career NHL games. Orpik accomplished the milestone in Monday night’s 4-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues.
Orpik became the 330th all-time player, 114th defenseman, and 22nd active player to reach 1,000 games. This is his 16th season overall in the league, a career that began when the Pittsburgh Penguins selected him 18th overall in the first round of the 2000 NHL Draft. He is the seventh player in his draft class to appear in 1,000 regular season games. He made his NHL debut on Dec. 10, 2002. Since that game, Orpik has ranked first among defensemen in hits (3,076), and second in blocked shots (1,858).
Orpik spent 11 seasons with the Penguins before he signed with the Capitals in free agency during the summer of 2014. Orpik registered 132 points (13 goals, 119 assists) in 703 career games with Pittsburgh and 56 points (four goals, 52 assists) in 298 career games with Washington. He also led both teams to Stanley Cup championships.
First Brooks came out to the ice with his wife and two daughters, Harlem and Brooklyn, where they were presented with a tribute video with current and former teammates congratulating him on the achievement. Yes this video included former Penguins teammates Sidney Crosby and Marc-Andre Fleury. As expected, Caps fans booed loudly.
Those boos turned to cheers right when former teammate, current Canuck, Jay Beagle was up to congratulate him. Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam also made a cameo.
A fitting salute to an amazing player and even better person.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) January 19, 2019
Orpik and his family were then presented with a gift from the Capitals. Players chipped in to give to give the family a trip to a resort at Canyon Point, Utah.
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) January 19, 2019
Additionally, Orpik was presented with a commemorative Tiffany crystal by NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and a silver stick by Capitals Team President Dick Patrick.
FiCP congratulates Brooks Orpik on 1,000 career NHL games!