By surprising customer demand (considering I thought a favorite design was dead since Orpik & Ovechkin have played on the same team for several years) this 2009 design has been resized and graphically brushed up, then printed with a bolder Pittsburgh Gold (in response to the awesome switch back to the '90's uniforms) on a black premium tee.
Original 2009 write-up:
Brooks Orpik, a classic “defensive Defenceman”, unselfishly cares more about enforcement and protecting his zone than offensive accolades. Named after Herb Brooks, legendary coach of the 1980 “Miracle On Ice” US Olympic Hockey team, it can’t be a coincidence that he emulates Herb’s hard-nosed, grinding style and overall work ethic. Brooks has accumulated only 9 goals in 12 seasons, but has laid down more bone-crushing hits than one could count. Accredited with the Alternate Captain “A” on his chest in ’08, Brooks is an intrical part of the Pens defensive rise, and has a stare that makes the faint of heart wet their pants.
Brooks was born in San Francisco, but matured in the hockey crazed Northeast. Attending Nichols School in Buffalo, Thayer Academy in Massachusetts, and ultimately Boston College, he won the Hockey East post-season championship in ’99 and ’01. In the 2000 entry draft, the Pens drafted him 18th overall, and soon began his pro career in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with the baby Pens of the AHL. Wearing the #29, Brooks made his NHL debut in the ’02-’03 season. He of course changed that number to #44, giving the #29 to the ’03 1st overall pick.
In the ’09 playoffs, Alexander Ovechkin attempted to check Orpik. Brooks, staunch as usual, laid Ovie out, making it look like he was the one initiating the hit, as well as making Alex look like the victim of a violent crime. One of my favorite sports photo’s ever was snapped at just the right time, and after some artist manipulation, this tee is made in homage.
You can check out the hit right here:
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