• Image of Brooks Orpik / Ovechkin "Unleash Hell" tee by Backpage Press
  • Image of Brooks Orpik / Ovechkin "Unleash Hell" tee by Backpage Press

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:


Shortly thereafter, Brooks became a Stanley Cup champion, and will surely retire a Penguin.

This is the 2011 version of the design originally created in 2009. A few cosmetic changes were made, and the print is several inches bigger, but the refurbished design remains consistent with the original. The new ink used is the Vegas Gold color that the Pens switched to in ’05, replacing the traditional Gold color used in the ’80-’03 Pen’s jerseys, as well as the ink color in my original ’09 print for this design.

* This design is printed on Anvil ring spun cotton tees. These tees are incredibly soft, comfortable, and flexible. They have a sliming cut, but not enough that it throws off the sizing. Bottom line, these tees will be among your go-to favorite tees.
For more detailed information, including sizing, check them out at Anvils website:


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