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Tag: Dustin Brown

Who Are The Kings Forwards?

How often do I get to use a Shipachyov picture? Wasn’t passing on this opportunity. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Los Angeles Kings are not built like the Vegas Golden Knights when it comes to forwards. Vegas has a top six that generate much of the offense for the team and they rely on the bottom six to keep the pace of the game high, create chances, and wear down opponents. The Golden Knights are at their best when all 12 forwards are active in the game, allowing them to come in waves at the opposing team.

The Kings are much different. Instead, the Kings have three elite players that carry a majority of the load, they have a little group of offensive-minded players that chip in by essentially complimenting the stars, and they fill the rest of their roster with role players. Some are defensive-oriented, others are there to win face-offs, then there are the grit and toughness guys, but all are mainly specialists.

So, I sat down with friend of the site and host of the official podcast of the LA Kings,  All The Kings Men, Jesse Cohen, to figure out, who exactly are these guys and what do they do best?

Anze Kopitar – Hart-trophy winning defensive forward who just flat out does everything well.

Jeff Carter – playmaker that is dangerous every second he’s in the game. He scores, he creates chances for others, he’s an elite skater, he wins face-offs, he’s simply an offensive weapon.

Dustin Brown – Having a tremendous offensive year and tends to be a player that imposes his will all over the ice while having the skill set to finish chances when they arise.

Adrian Kempe – Has a dangerous wrist shot from 30 feet out but seems to rely on it heavily. When his game is activated and he’s in on the forecheck he’s a disruptive and dangerous offensive weapon. When it’s not he has a tendency to disappear and rely on his skating and shooting. High ceiling, middle output.

Tobias Reider – Speed to burn with offensive upside that has still yet to fully develop. Can move the puck and his feet quickly.

Trevor Lewis – Defensive specialist having a career year offensively. Penalty killer that can play center or wing but it mostly deployed at wing.

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Captain Search Series – Joe Thornton

Just like every ship, a hockey club needs a skipper. The type of player that can lead a team to victory, and get them out of the gutter when they’re losing. Heck, the Canadiens just traded for one. Captains like Jonathan Toews, John Tavares, and Sidney Crosby act as coaches on the ice. Players consistently look for direction during a game, and having a leader who understands all facets is key to a team succeeding. Las Vegas is no different, and will need true guidance from their first ever captain.

Over the next six months or so, I’ll start examining who could be the captain in Las Vegas. Back in December I wrote about the LA Kings outgrowing Captain Dustin Brown. Well, we now know that is the case after they stripped the “C” off his sweater and handed it to Selke winner Anze Kopitar. Tough to argue with the Kings brass, especially after another lousy statistical season for Brown. However, my argument was never about numbers with DB.

I still think he’d be an effective captain because he’s a leader on and off the ice. His play may not result in points, but every player on the ice is a better player because of Brown. His physical style protects teammates as opponents shy away. Not too mention, every star the Kings have (Kopitar, Doughty, Quick) have all credited Brown for leading them to two Stanley Cup victories. Arguably the best center and defenseman have been impacted by DB’s leadership. That’s the type of captain Las Vegas needs, a hard-working respected player.

Okay, so not many were sold on my Dustin Brown love, and I understand. Like I said, four-straight seasons of 30 points or less is very underwhelming. So you need more firepower for your Las Vegas captain? Okay how does 82 points last season sound? Or 65 points in 2014-15, and 76 in 2013-14? Those numbers sound fantastic, but why would they be available? Easy, age and money.

Jumbo Joe Thornton is coming off one of his best seasons as a pro, and was a big factor in San Jose’s Cup bid. However, San Jose might take advantage of Thornton’s expiring NMC and expose him to expansion. Las Vegas would then be in position to do one of two things with Thornton; 1) Select him and sign him to a deal prior to July 1st OR 2) Do not select him and hope he signs with Vegas after July 1st.

A very interesting scenario could play itself out, and benefit Las Vegas no matter what. Landing Thornton would be a no brainer as a brand new club looking for veteran leadership. Joe Pavelski might wear the “C” but Thornton is still an important voice for the Sharks. Thornton would have no issue directing Las Vegas right out of the gate. His next contract won’t break the bank, and he wants to play into his 40’s. He’s well respected around the league with players, officials, and fans.

I truly believe he would be honored to wear the first “C” in Las Vegas. Plus he may give us more gems like this after a game.

The Perfect Man To Be Las Vegas’ First Captain Plays Just A Few Hours Down The Road

The LA Kings are currently in first place but find themselves in a sensitive situation that could bode well for Las Vegas. Kings Captain Dustin Brown is underperforming this season and could be playing his last days in LA.

According to our main man over at Mayors Manor, it seems as if maybe the Kings are outgrowing Dustin. Although, in the Mayor’s column, he highlights Brown’s team first style that makes him a good NHL Captain. The Mayor also notes Dusty is the first American born Captain to lead two Stanley cup winning teams. Clearly the forward can lead.The problem with Brown is his stat line. He simply doesn’t produce points. It’s not really his game. What Dustin brings is intelligence, puck pressure and high energy. And I mean high energy. Always a leader in hits, although small, Brown’s body checks are feared. This has worked out great for the Kings when they started this run five years ago, but the team is moving on. Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty have established themselves as NHL elite and they need to be paid like it. This is where Las Vegas can benefit.

The Mayor suggests the expansion draft as a potential escape option for LA. Getting an impact player in the expansion draft could be difficult, but finding a leader is even tougher. Dustin is American, a great leader, a winner and the Vegas market knows him well. Also DB started a high disciplined, Tom Brady- like diet to change his overall body performance. Brown plans on bringing his intensity late into his career, which could be while playing for Sin City’s team.

To me, Brown is the perfect player The Creator should target in the expansion draft. Las Vegas wouldn’t have to spend a high pick and they’d be getting a proven leader. Plus Dustin IS the checking line, which every team needs. The Kings may not need him any longer, but a developing team does.

Not too mention Kings games are broadcasted in the Las Vegas market so the viewing audience will know Brown coming in. It’s always good to bring in a recognizable face. It also doesn’t hurt when fans remember seeing him hoist the cup two out of the past five seasons. You remember NHL Captains, because they’re the players that raise The Holy Grail first.

Not convinced? Well, let’s talk fan connection. I’ve built my case above for fan recognition, but fan connection is just as important. One of the easiest ways to relate is to be from the same area as someone. That’s why you all know I want The Creator to go after Jason Zucker… It’ll take work but it could happen. Dustin on the other hand, isn’t from Nevada, but he is an American. The last time I checked, Las Vegans are about as Red, White and Blue Americans as Wayne Newton, The Heart Attack Grille, and Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club. An American born, board banging, NHL player would fit right in Southern Nevada. Let’s see it happen Creator, let’s get Dustin Brown in a Las Vegas sweater someday.Dustin-Brown-Las-Vegas

**Ken sucks at Photoshop, we know, get over it.

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