One thing that was missing from the disappointing end of the 2013-14 season for the Pittsburgh Penguins was the presence of defenseman Brooks Orpik.
Orpik, who sustained a right knee injury in Game 4 of the second-round playoff series against the New York Rangers, is an unrestricted free agent this summer and very well could be waving goodbye to the only organization he has ever played for.
A return to Pittsburgh is pretty much in limbo as the Penguins search for a new general manager, however it is looking as if Orpik will have plenty of other options if a return to Pittsburgh isn’t in the cards.
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 blue line could turn out to be a very crowded place as Kris Letang, Paul Martin, Rob Scuderi, Olli Maatta and Robert Bortuzzo all are under contract next season and the organization has a wealth of young defensemen that are on their way to the NHL fairly soon.
Add all of that up and things don’t look great for a return to Pittsburgh for Orpik.
Orpik signed a six-year, $22.5 million contract to remain with the Penguins in 2008 when at least two other teams, including the New York Rangers, reportedly had made larger offers.
This time around he could be jumping at the largest offer.