Brooks Orpik back on the market after contract buyout

Chris Lingebach
June 25, 2018 - 6:29 pm
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Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

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Brooks Orpik will not see the ice for his new club, the Colorado Avalanche. 

Three days after being traded – along with teammate Philipp Grubauer – from the Capitals, the Avalanche have bought up the final year of Orpik's contract. Orpik signed a five-year, $27.5 million deal with Washington in 2014, and played four seasons with the Caps, culminating in the Stanley Cup championship this spring.

After acquiring Orpik and Grubauer, the Avalanche signed Grubauer to a three-year extension, which will take him through the 2020-21 season. They did not have similar designs – or any, for that matter – for Orpik.

"I owed him the respect to let him know that the plan is to buy him out and let him be a free agent," said Avs GM Joe Sakic, per ESPN's Greg Wyshynski. "I'm sure he'll have a lot of teams that'll want to add him to their group."

Could Orpik return to the Caps on a cheaper deal? As Wyshynski notes, Caps GM Brian MacLellan hasn't ruled out the possibility.

For the Caps, unloading Orpik's salary was a near necessity in order to re-sign defenseman John Carlson, whom they inked to an eight-year, $64 million deal on Sunday.

Orpik, 37, could have a host of suitors if he's willing to take a reduced salary once free agency begins on July 1. Orpik will be 38 at the start of the 2018-19 NHL season.

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