After losing Marian Hossa to the Detroit Red Wings and Jarkko Ruutu to the Ottawa Senators earlier today, the Pittsburgh Penguins finally announced some positive news this evening.
The Penguins have re-signed defenseman Brooks Orpik to a six-year deal worth $3.5 million annually.
Other teams that were reportedly interested in signing Orpik included the Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers.
Working out a new deal with Orpik was among the top priorities for Penguins' GM Ray Shero this offseason and it feels good to finally see one of Shero's plans solidify.
Orpik enjoyed the best season of his NHL career this past season and his play landed him a spot on the team's top defensive pairing along All-Star teammate Sergei Gonchar.
Orpik is the Penguins' most physical defenseman, but has improved his positional play and puck-moving ability over the past two seasons.
Orpik has not always seen eye-to-eye with head coach Michel Therrien, however, after Therrien benched Orpik, then moved him to fourth-line wing earlier this season, the two have seemed to resolved any hostilities they may have had.
Therrien knew the kind of player Orpik could be, he just needed to push a few buttons to get Brooks to "that level".
He is now at "that level". Orpik has blossomed into a true defensive defenseman and this signing should come as a huge relief for Pens' fans.