While I thoroughly rank anything written by Eklund at Hockeybuzz right up there with that which I pick up when I take my dog for a walk, I thought that at the least we could see what Captain Toolbag had to say about the future of Brooks Orpik.
If there was one player whose stock rose the most this past playoffs it is Brooks Orpick. Brooks showed a ton. Most of all, the guy can do it all. His four hit shift in Game 3 of the Finals was the stuff of legend in hockey, his ability to pick up Gonchar's game over the past few years has truly revitalized Gonchar's game. To be paired with a puck moving defenseman like Gonchar and to be NEVER out of position is an accomplishment.
However, word has been out these playoffs that Orpik is almost certainly moving on. The Sabres, Bruins, Sharks, Rangers and Kings are teams currently rumoured to have interest in the rugged blue-liner. My bet. Buffalo, where Orpik reminds me very much of a young Jay McKee. A player the Sabres have not replaced.
Eklund - HockeyBuzz
Mind you, this is coming from the same guy who said Hossa would be a Senator, and Ovechkin/Kolzig would be Predators minutes before his re-signing with the Caps. So really, when you get to the heart of the matter, you can't really consider anything this guy says. As it is, my contacts say that his rumors come from picking names out of hats and matching them with 3-5 random teams.
Also note : "Orpick" in the first line.
I don't think I'm wrong in thinking he won't be leaving Pittsburgh. Ryan Whitney's salary was dead weight this season and could be enough to motivate the team to toss him on the trading block; especially if it means keeping Orpik around. Whitney's production is just as replaceable by a guy like Goglioski who could really turn into the sort of blueliner the Pens want. If you haven't noticed, basically what I'm trying to say is they can't afford to lose him. He's the hardest hitter, best defensive guy the Pens had this year. And with potential contract negotiations still pending with Ruutu and Laraque, you want to at least lock up a Dman on the line first before you start looking at two-way forwards.