Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Brooks Orpik

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Brooks Orpik

Article excerpt

The NHL lockout has wiped out training camp and more than a month of games in the 2012-13 season, but readers can keep up with the Penguins with an occasional question-and-answer session. Today, we catch up with Brooks Orpik, who is spending the lockout in his offseason home in the Boston area. It was an eventful summer for Orpik, 32, a defenseman who got married and didn't have abdominal surgery after having such an operation -- one on each side -- the previous two offseasons.

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Question: You were 24 during the lockout that wiped out the 2004- 05 season and did not play anywhere. How does this lockout, for you, compare with the last one?

Answer: I guess the biggest difference is just going into it last time you knew it was going to be at least half the season long. They were telling you that worst-case scenario it could be a couple of years if we really stuck to our guns and went against having a cap. This time, everyone was so optimistic with how successful the league has been. Guys thought that maybe we'd miss a little bit of training camp but that something would get done. We thought there was no way we would miss games and this time.

Q: You have been practicing with other locked-out NHL players at your old stomping grounds, Boston College, at rival Boston University and elsewhere. What is that group like?

A: That's one of the good things about the area. There's so many guys, whether they play for the Bruins or a handful of other guys from this area or guys [like me] who settled down here through college or relationships or whatnot. It really is a good group. We always kind of have a similar group here for August before I come to Pittsburgh. A lot of it is the same guys. And the [NHL Players' Association] has done a good job. They can put you in touch with whoever runs the skate in a certain city. …

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