NHL notes: Agent expects 'heavy interest' in Orpik

Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Brooks Orpik's agent thinks there will be plenty of interest in his...

Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Brooks Orpik's agent thinks there will be plenty of interest in his client on the free-agent market. (USA Today)

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, Last Updated: 10:06 PM ET

If Brooks Orpik doesn’t sign a contract extension with the Pittsburgh Penguins, it doesn’t seem like he’s worried about finding a suitor for his services.

The 33-year-old’s agent insists Pittsburgh’s front office situation – they are still without a general manager – won’t affect talks. He says his client will be fine either way.

“I would expect there to be heavy interest in him,” Lewis Gross told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Gross declined to say if returning to Pittsburgh was a high priority for Orpik.

“We still have time,” Gross said. “Brooks isn't a free agent until July.”

Gross also said Orpiks would prefer a long-term deal, but did not specify in terms of length.

The blueliner’s last deal with the club paid him $3.75 million annually.

A stay-at-home defenceman, Orpiks had 13 points in 72 games with a plus/minus rating of minus-3 last season.

CATS GET WEEGAR

The Florida Panthers signed defenceman MacKenzie Weegar to an entry-level contract Thursday.

“We are pleased to have reached a contract agreement with MacKenzie,” Panthers general manager Dale Tallon said. “He is a young and mobile defenseman with an offensive upside, who will continue to grow and develop at the professional level.”

Weegar, 20, had 12 goals and 59 points in 61 regular-season games with the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League to rank fourth among league defencemen. He helped Halifax reach the QMJHL semifinals.

A seventh-round pick of the Panthers in the 2013 NHL Draft, Weegar had eight goals and 44 points in 62 games to help lead Halifax to a Memorial Cup win in 2013. He attended training camp with the Panthers in 2013 and had an assist in one pre-season game against the Nashville Predators.


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