Penguins Q&A: Defenseman Brooks Orpik
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. We gave a lot of thought to going to Pittsburgh, but I think if I was in Pittsburgh, it would drive me more crazy not playing. It kind of takes my mind off of it a little bit.