My daughter and I had the opportunity to meet Brooks Orpik a few years ago. We attended the first day of Training Camp at the old Igloo and met him in the parking lot. As he was signing my daughter's jersey, he took the time to make sure that she wasn't skipping school to be there (she wasn't, it was an in-service day for the school district) and stressed the importance of school. In a then-eight-year-old's mind, the fact that a big NHL star took the time to make sure she was doing the right thing really struck a chord with her. I've always appreciated his taking the few minutes to give a young kid a positive message and have been a fan of "Brooks Orpik, the human being" ever since.
Focusing on "Brooks Orpik, the hockey player," here's a guy who gave 100% effort 100% of the time. He played through some pretty nasty injuries to help his team and was a fantastic leader on the ice and in the room. He's the guy that teammates could count on to be brutally honest when needed. I'll always remember his time here fondly and I look forward to the day that he's inducted into the Penguins Hall of Fame/Ring of Honor. He deserves that.
Good luck, Brooks. It's going to kill me seeing you wearing a Capitals jersey, but you've earned that big contract. I wish you the best of luck and health. Congratulations on the contract and thank you for being the quality human being that you've always been. I'll still wear my 44 Pens jersey proudly!