It seems as though the Los Angeles Kings are looking to change things up and they’re starting by switching up leadership within the dressing room. According to several reports, the Kings have told Dustin Brown that he will no longer be the team’s captain.
According to TSN’s Frank Seravalli, the Kings’ reason for the change is simply that “they want to go in a different direction with the ‘C.’
It comes as a little bit of a surprise as Brown was the longest-serving captain in franchise history – having wore letter crest for eight seasons. He was the captain for both of Los Angeles’ Stanley Cups (2012 and 2014) and while he has six years remaining on his eight year contract, he’ll likely have to fall into the same mind frame as San Jose’s Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton who were both stripped of the C but remained with the team.
However, that’s not exactly how Brown’s agent sees it. In a tweet sent out following the announcement of the news, Scott Norton wrote “NHL is a copycat league. Sure @LAKings see how Sharks have gone after change of “C” and hoping for same result.”
Brown was drafted by the Kings 13th overall in 2003. Since then, Brown’s played 884 regular season games for the franchise recording 218 goals and 470 points. On top of that, he’s added 46 career playoff points (19g-27a) in 81 games with the Kings. The 31-year-old also won the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award in 2013-14 for exemplifying great leadership within the game of hockey as well as in the community.
The Kings are unlikely to buyout the veteran forward as they already have a penalty thanks to the termination of Mike Richards contract. Adding the buyout of Brown, who still has over $35-million left on his contract, would be significantly detrimental to the team’s salary cap situation. That being said, it should be interesting to see how this story unravels.
Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.