Brooks Orpik had a good reason to head back to Pittsburgh after spending the first three months of the NHL lockout in Massachusetts, and the Penguins defenseman insists it had nothing to do with optimism he and the rest of his teammates are closer to getting back to work.
''I didn't have snow tires on my car, so I was like, 'If I wait this out any longer I'm going to get stuck here and not have a car down in Pittsburgh,''' Orpik said. ''It was really just a change of scenery.''
Orpik wasn't alone. He carpooled down to Pittsburgh with Tyler Kennedy, and a little bit of peer pressure convinced forward James Neal to join the handful of Penguins who have been working out regularly at the regional ice rink that serves as the team's practice facility.
''It's just something different to stimulate you,'' Orpik said.
Orpik had been working out with players in the Boston area, monitoring negotiations and attemptin...