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Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik has sports hernia surgery, should be back for training camp

Brooks Orpik, Alex Ovechkin

Pittsburgh Penguins’ Brooks Orpik, left, sends Washington Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin, of Russia, flying during the third period of Game 3 of an NHL hockey second-round playoff series in Pittsburgh, Wednesday, May 6, 2009. The Penguins won 3-2 in overtime. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)


Looking for “free candy”? You might have to wait 4-6 weeks. TSN reports that Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik underwent sports hernia surgery.

It’s being reported that Orpik is expected to be back in time for the Penguins’ training camp in September.

Orpik has a career-high 25 points during the 2009-10 season despite playing with the hernia problem for the second half of the season, including the Olympics. The gritty defenseman is a regular companion to Penguins free-agent-to-be Sergei Gonchar, providing a defensive lean to the pairing and thus allowing Gonchar to occasionally push the envelope in the offensive end.

While there are times when Orpik’s minimal puck moving abilities and shaky decision making can make him a bit of a liability, he’s a valuable hitter who can skate a bit to boot. With Gonchar’s likely departure, Pittsburgh will lean more heavily on blueliners Orpik, Kris Letang and Alex Goligoski. The team hopes Orpik will be 100 percent to start the 2010-11 campaign.