Winter Games Athletes
Hardly the prototypical player for international play, the physical Orpik earned his second straight Olympic selection in part for his leadership ability, and he'll be counted on to provide stability for a Team USA defensive corps on which five of the eight members will be 25 or younger. He'll perhaps be paired with fellow veteran and current Pittsburgh Penguins defensive partner Paul Martin. Orpik plays an edgy game and is often deployed against opponents' top offensive players, and with the top Olympic teams dominated by NHL stars, that's perhaps another reason he was chosen by Team USA coach Dan Bylsma (his coach with the Penguins) and general manager David Poile. He helped the United States to the silver medal at the Vancouver Games in 2010, posting a plus-2 rating in six games. Despite his physical style, Orpik isn't a bad skater and possesses good recovery speed. He is adept at blocking shots and plays a sound and simple game in his own end. He's posted a plus rating in each of his last eight seasons including this one and is plus-83 over that span. Orpik has 12 goals, 119 assists and 730 penalty minutes in 681 career games. He's shown no ill effects since returning to the lineup Dec. 27 after an attack by the Boston Bruins' Shawn Thornton on Dec. 7 left him concussed and taken off the ice on a stretcher.