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Avalanche plan to buy out contract of former Penguin Brooks Orpik

| Saturday, June 23, 2018, 8:40 p.m.
Linesman Matt MacPherson steps in to separate Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves (75) and Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik during the third period in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday, June 2, 2018, in Washington
Alex Brandon | AP
Linesman Matt MacPherson steps in to separate Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves (75) and Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik during the third period in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday, June 2, 2018, in Washington

DALLAS — The Colorado Avalanche signed goaltender Philipp Grubauer to a three-year contract and put former Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik on buyout waivers the day after acquiring them from the Washington Capitals.

One person with knowledge of the move said the Avalanche signed Grubauer to a $10 million contract. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced.

Another person said Colorado put Orpik on unconditional waivers with the purposes of buying out the final year of his contract.

Assuming Orpik clears waivers, Colorado can buy him out Sunday, less than 48 hours after trading for him.

Sakic told Orpik after trading for him the team planned to explore a trade or buy out the 37-year-old. Sakic took on Orpik's $5.5 million salary in the trade to get Grubauer without giving up more than a second-round pick.

“I owed him the respect to let him know that the plan is to buy him out and let him be a free agent,” Sakic said. “I'm sure he'll have a lot of teams that'll want to add him to their group.”

Capitals GM Brian MacLellan said Friday night he was open to bringing Orpik back if the price was right. Orpik was a respected leader on Washington's Stanley Cup-winning team.

Grubauer, 26, will split time with Semyon Varlamov in net this season and could take over as Colorado's No. 1 goalie in 2019-20. He'll count $3.3 million against the salary cap the next three years.

“We all feel that he's ready to take the next step and become a No. 1,” Colorado GM Joe Sakic said. “We're excited to have two No. 1 goalies.”

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