Champion Caps trade 2 players to Avs for 2nd-rounder

The Stanley Cup-winning Washington Capitals are quickly remaking their roster just over two weeks after winning their first championship.

In a move to create salary-cap room to retain key free agents, the Capitals traded defenseman Brooks Orpik and backup goaltender Philipp Grubauer to the Colorado Avalanche for a second-round pick on Friday.

In return, the Capitals received Colorado's second-round pick (No. 47 overall) in Friday's NHL draft.

"We would like to thank Brooks and Philipp for all of their contributions to our organization," Washington general manager Brian MacLellan said. "Philipp has been a consummate professional and a great teammate and we wish him all the best. Brooks was a great leader and a tremendous role model for our young players in his four years with our organization. This was a difficult move, but the one we felt we needed to make in order to give some flexibility moving forward."

The loss of Orpik, who turns 38 before the start of next season, opens up $5.5 million in cap space for next season based on the final annual salary in his current contract. Dealing away Grubauer, 26, potentially frees up as much $20 million overall in possible earnings before he hits restricted free agency.

Room in the budget is needed to help avoid losing defensemen John Carlson and Michal Kempny to unrestricted free agency, which begins on July 1. Restricted free agents Devante Smith-Pelly and Tom Wilson are up for big raises after big contributions to a title-winning season.

The 6-foot-3 Orpik notched 10 points (all assists) in 81 games with Washington last season. After playing his first 11 seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins (winning a Cup in 2009), Orpik played the past four seasons with the Capitals. In 982 career games over 15 years, he has 16 goals and 169 assists.

Grubauer went 15-10-3 with a 2.35 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage in 35 games last season. Over his six NHL seasons, all with Washington, he is 43-31-11 with a 2.29 GAA, a .923 save percentage and six shutouts.

--Field Level Media