Longtime Los Angeles King captain and future Hall of Famer Dustin Brown announced his retirement on April 28th. Since then Kings fans are still shocked by the announcement six days later.
Brown is retiring from the game he loves after the playoffs for the Kings are over, regardless of the outcome. Brown went about this announcement a different way, announcing his retirement just days before the Kings would play their first playoff game in four years. In a surprise move captain Anze Kopitar removed the captain ‘C’ from his jersey and allowed Brown to wear it on the last regular-season game he would play.
Brown, the 13th pick by the Kings in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, did not win any Art Ross trophies or wow the crowd with highlight-reel goals. Instead, he became a fan favorite by scoring the dirty, important goals and putting the opposition into the boards. His legacy is one that will not be repeated by another Kings player. As the first player in King’s history to hoist the Stanley Cup, he was a two-time Stanley Cup winner, winning the Cup in 2012 and 2014. He would captain the Kings franchise for 8 seasons.
As the Kings’ all-time leader in regular-season games played, he set an example to the younger players in the Kings system by working hard and not taking a shift off. His hard work paid off in the way of his first, and only, all-star appearance in 2009.
Dustin Brown was not a captain that got loud or blamed a single player. He led by example by playing physical, smart hockey. Brown is truly a Kings legend, a great person, and deserves to have his jersey in the rafters. Here is to a great career Dustin Brown, enjoy it because you deserve it.
(photo: jewelsfromthecrown.com; Eric K.) (photo: latimes.com; Curtis Zupke)