The Washington Capitals had one clear goal in free agency this season and that was to get some help on defense. It certainly cost them.
The Capitals targeted Brooks Orpik and signed him to a big deal: five years and $27.5 million. That's an awfuly lot of money for a 34-year-old defenseman who has been heading in the wrong direction for a while.
"We are very excited to welcome Brooks to Washington," Caps GM Brian MacLellan. "We feel Brooks' leadership and experience will greatly enhance our defense for years to come. Brooks plays tough minutes against the opposition's best players."
Orpik might play tough minutes but he's been a negative possession player for the Penguins over the past three years, finishing last season with a 46.2 Corsi (a rating that measures shot attempts for/against while a player is on the ice).
Orpik is certainly physical, but he is not the fleetest of foot defenseman in the league and that's not going to get any better with him already in his mid-30s at this point in his career.
Frankly, at that price this deal already looks like a bad one for the Capitals in Year 1, just wait until the contract is a few years in. Orpik is the type of defenseman that is slowly disappearing in the NHL; big and a bit slow. Certainly he won't contribute offense as he has just 13 goals and 119 assists in his 703-game NHL career, all in Pittsburgh.