Within a few weeks of their loss to Boston in the Eastern Conference final earlier this year the Penguins signed forwards Evgeni Malkin and Chris Kunitz and defenseman Kris Letang to contract extensions a year before their current deals expire.

Another seemingly logical player for such negotiations was defenseman Brooks Orpik their longest-tenured player.
Instead? Crickets.

Orpik who is entering the final season of a six-year $22.5 million deal was asked Monday whether he had had talks or plans to have talks with the Penguins about a new contract before he would become eligible for unrestricted free agency next summer.

Again crickets.

"No comment" Orpik said. "I'd rather not talk about it."
It's not as if Orpik needs the motivation of playing in a contract year to be effective. When healthy he has been a reliable physical defenseman for years.

And he is healthy.

"I actually had a summer working out instead of rehabbing so I feel a little better strength-wise and timing-wise" said Orpik who has had lower abdominal surgeries on each side in recent years. "A lot of that soreness you're working through isn't there this year. It just feels kind of normal."
Orpik who was not in the lineup Sunday for the preseason game at Columbus was paired Monday night with Paul Martin and logged 18:25 of ice time in a 4-1 preseason loss against Detroit at Consol Energy Center.


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