Apr 19, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik (44) moves the puck against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the third period in game two of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Blue Jackets won 4-3 in double overtime. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Brooks Orpik expected to receive heavy interest in free agency

The NHL offseason has arrived in Pittsburgh again before the Stanley Cup playoffs are over and that has a lot of fans a little more and agitated given how often the supposed best team in hockey fails to do much of anything in the postseason. But while their postseason woes have fans on edge, there are questions about players on this roster and their future with the team.

First and foremost, the future of Brooks Orpik seems to be up in the air as the veteran is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July and there are doubts as to whether or not he’ll get the contract he wants from the Penguins or if he’ll have to go outside the organization to get it.

According to a report from the Tribune-Review, the Penguins longest tenured player is expected to receive heavy interest in the offseason from teams looking to sign him, but a long term contract is what the ultimate end game is here.

“I would expect there to be heavy interest in him,” said Gross, who declined to say if returning to Pittsburgh was a high priority for Orpik.

Gross also said a long-term deal will be preferable for Orpik, but did not specify how many years are desired in a new deal.

The Penguins cannot afford to take any further steps back than they already have after getting bounced from the Stanley Cup playoffs yet again before they could reach the Finals. Orpik knows the system and has been around longer than any of the other members of the team which sort of makes him a staple int he lineup but also means that he could be expendable in favor of fresh legs and youthful skaters.

That’s not a given by any  means, but the Pens seem to be in no rush to give him a long term deal, which seems to be fine with Orpik who is no rush to get one done.

Tags: Pittsburgh Penguins

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