Despite Jeff Carter now in the fold, it doesn’t appear that the Los Angeles Kings are finished making deals before Monday’s trade deadline. In fact, according to TSN, it’s believed that captain Dustin Brown is now on the block – and if he is, there are plenty of teams interested in him.
According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, Boston, Buffalo, Edmonton, New Jersey, the Rangers, Philadelphia, Vancouver and Toronto are the shortlist of teams interested in the 27-year-old. I’ve already heard from a fan about a possible Brown for Jason Pominville deal with the Sabres but I haven’t heard anything else on that. I’ve also heard rumours of Brown going to most of the other aforementioned clubs but obviously, it’s just speculation at this point as it’s too early to determine Brown’s short-term future.
In 61 games this season, Brown has collected 15 goals and 17 assists. Although they’re fairly decent numbers, many believe that Dustin Brown should be a lot better than his season stats indicate. He’s been a great fit to a Kings team that has been rebuilding for a few years and even in the last couple years when Los Angeles return to the playoffs. Even when the Kings weren’t yet a playoff team, Dustin Brown was probably the biggest reason why watching Kings games were exciting. Although they weren’t winning much, Brown delivered punishment on a regular basis dishing out hits at an alarming pace night-in and night-out. Unfortunately for Brown, it’s a case of, “What have you done for me lately?” The answer: not a whole lot.
For someone who is supposed to be a power forward, Dustin Brown has shown anything but that this season. To be fair, Brown doesn’t deserve all the blame. After all, with the system the Kings have (more on that later), everyone’s feeling the goalless wrath. Having said that, more is expected of Brown simply because he wears the C. Don’t get me wrong – Dustin Brown was a good leader while the Kings were in their rebuilding phase but since then, the expectations for the Kings have risen dramatically. Unfortunately for Brown, his play hasn’t. If anything, Brown’s production has decreased. Actually, it has.
The positive for Los Angeles, though, is that there are quite a number of teams interested in Brown’s services, many of which have, barring any foreseen implosions, all but clinched playoff spots already. One of the teams who are actually struggling to get into the playoffs is the Toronto Maple Leafs. Many may not think anything of this because, let’s be honest, whenever a player is on the market, the Leafs are always in the mix, whether or not it’s accurate. However, TSN analyst and former NHLer Aaron Ward said that the Leafs could be a likely destination for Brown as he (Leafs’ GM) Brian Burke’s ideal player: a gritty power forward who happens to be, like Burke, an American. Although I don’t believe Burke cares that deeply about the latter, I do believe that Dustin Brown would be someone who Brian Burke would definitely make a strong bid for. After all, let’s not forget that Burke has seen plenty of Brown from his days in Anaheim.
Like the case with Jack Johnson, there are many fans that love Dustin Brown and don’t want him to go. Unfortunately, this is a business and if the right deal comes along, then Brown’s days in Los Angeles are numbered. Of course, the right deal has to come along. The consensus of yesterday’s trade had a skeptical reaction to it, although some are thrilled with the acquisition of Jeff Carter. Hopefully, the potential trade that sees Dustin Brown leave town would have a more positive reaction to whoever the Kings get in return – regardless who popular Brown is.
Photo: Courtesy of Raincity Hockey