Brooks Orpik is the longest-tenured player on the Pittsburgh roster but, given the uncertainty with his situation and in the Pens’ front office, it’s unclear if that tenure will extend into next season.
On Wednesday, Orpik’s agent shed some light into what the 33-year-old UFA wants moving forward, insisting the fact that Pittsburgh is GM-less won’t muddle contract talks.
“We still have time,” Orpik’s agent, Lewis Gross, told the Tribune-Review. “Brooks isn’t a free agent until July. We’re not worried about Pittsburgh not having a GM right now…
… “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.
Though Orpik was sidelined for a good chunk of the playoffs with a knee injury, he insists his “body isn’t breaking down” and that he’ll be fully healthy come training camp time. But whether he’ll be at Pittsburgh’s camp remains up in the air, especially with the wealth of young talent the Pens have on the blueline in Olli Maatta, Derrick Pouliot, Scott Harrington and Brian Dumoulin.
As for financials and term… Orpik made $3.75 million annually on his last deal, a six-year, $22.5 million pact. While it’d probably be difficult for him to land something similar in length this time around, he could be getting something close to a comparable annual salary, especially given some of the deals handed out a year ago (like the four-year, $13.5 million deal Pittsburgh gave Rob Scuderi, for example.)