Brooks Orpik Retires from NHL; Won Stanley Cup with Penguins and Capitals

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJune 25, 2019

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 26: Brooks Orpik #44 of the Washington Capitals in action against the Ottawa Senators during the second period at Capital One Arena on February 26, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals announced Tuesday defenseman Brooks Orpik has retired from the NHL.

Washington Capitals @Capitals

Brooks Orpik has announced his retirement today from the @NHL after 15 seasons. The two-time Stanley Cup Champion skated in 1,035 regular-season games. Congratulations on a terrific career, Brooksie. And thank you for everything! #ALLCAPS Read More: https://t.co/phJzewaMWB https://t.co/rJYfMZfejw

Orpik captured the Stanley Cup twice, first with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009 and then with the Caps in 2018.

The 38-year-old San Francisco native provided context about his decision to walk away after 16 seasons in the official announcement:

"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. 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."

Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin also commented on the blueliner's retirement:

"Batya was a great leader in our locker room and was so important for us to win our first Stanley Cup. 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 Penguins selected Orpik out of Boston College with the 18th overall pick in the 2000 NHL draft.

Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post noted the defender previously stated his hopes of returning to BC to finish his degree and potentially also joining the Eagles' hockey coaching staff.

He spent 11 years in Pittsburgh, scoring 132 points in 703 regular-season games. He added 62 points in 332 appearances for Washington after he signed a five-year contract in 2014.

His 1,029 games played since 2003-04 ranked ninth among all NHL defensemen.

Along with his pair of Stanley Cup titles, he also helped lead the United States to a silver medal in the 2010 Winter Olympics and made the 2014 U.S. Olympic team.