Today, it was announced that Los Angeles Kings’ captain Dustin Brown has signed on to play for the Zurich Lions of the Swiss League. The 27-year-old is coming off a season where he scored 22 goals and 54 points in 82 regular season games in a season capped off leading this team to their first ever Stanley Cup title.
While the defection of NHLers to Europe has been quite common over the last couple of months thanks to the unfortunate events of the current lockout on this side of the pond, seeing Dustin Brown join that list of players heading overseas is a painful reminder that the lockout, barring an unforeseen miracle, will not be ending anytime soon.
Even with Anze Kopitar going to Sweden wasn’t as eye-popping. Of course, Kopitar did return to the club he had played with before joining the Kings. Also, with all due respect to Kopitar, he hasn’t been with the Kings as long as Brown has.
As far as I’m concerned, I’m on the fence about this situation. While I’m glad Brown has found a place to play for the time being, I’m also not an advocate of locked-out NHLers going elsewhere and taking other players’ jobs. Of course, being that the NHLers have been locked out in the first place isn’t exactly fair but there’s no sense opening that can of worms again.
In addition, it’s tough to see Dustin Brown wearing any uniform that’s not of the Los Angeles Kings. Nevertheless, I hope he enjoys his time in Zurich and maybe soon enough, we’ll get to see him and everyone back in North America.
Until then, the defection will just continue.