Should Brian Burke Go After Dustin Brown?

February 24th, 2012 9 Comments

Fresh off the heals of acquiring Jeff Carter from the Columbus Blue Jackets for Jack Johnson and a conditional first round draft choice, Los Angeles Kings general manager Dean Lombardi is said to be facing cap issues and may be willing to deal captain Dustin Brown.

Originally drafted in the first round (13th overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, Brown stands 6’0” and weighs in at just over 200 pounds. A gritty forward with a measure of offensive punch, Brown has registered 14 goals (including five power play markers) and 17 assists through 61 games this season. Brown has five game winners, which ranks him 15th overall and is a plus six on the season.

While Brown’s offensive total’s are a little south of where they probably should be, he more than makes up for those shortcomings with defensively responsible physical play and the fact that he currently sits second amongst all forwards with 215 hits on the season.

A natural right winger, Brown has been used on the left wing as well this season. His ability to make a hit and dig out pucks would be a perfect fit for the Toronto Maple Leafs—a team that has had it’s physical play questioned throughout the season.

Brown averages 3:34 of ice-time on the power play and 1:39 on the penalty kill. His special teams play, especially on the power play, is excellent and when you consider the physical element he brings to the table there is no reason why he couldn’t be asked to increase his time on the PK.

When you consider everything Brown brings to the table—a power forward who has scored 30 goals in the NHL, has the ability to make the big hit, compliments the power play and brings leadership skills—it is hard to believe Los Angeles may consider moving their captain.

Let’s be clear here, Los Angeles is not in dire straights when it comes to cap room. According to capgeek.com the Kings still project to have $628,799 in cap space right now, with a max cap hit of $2,705,298 available at the deadline.

That said, when you consider the salaries of Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, the Kings now have nearly $18 million invested in their top three forwards, not to mention Dustin Penner’s ugly $4,250,000 contract which expires after this season.

Brown’s salary comes in at $3,175,000 and is set to expire at the end of the 2013-24 season. Not only is Brown’s salary reasonable, but with him signed for two more seasons after this year he becomes all the more attractive to the right suitor.
Los Angeles has no draft pick in the first three rounds of this summers draft. If Los Angeles was to trade Brown it is widely felt that they will be looking for a prospect and/or draft pick to make up for their shortcoming.

Brown may not be the physical centre everyone in Toronto wants to see, but he would be a tremendous fit for Brian Burke. Burke knows Brown from his contributions to Team USA and we all know Burke seems to have a thing for American players, so why not Brown?

It says here if Burke can find a way to bring Brown into the fold he should jump at the chance…and, in light of the teams recent goaltending struggles,  it would be nice if he could find a way to include Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Bernier into the fold as well!

Until next time,

Peace!

9 Comments

  1. Hudson says:

    …just do something.

  2. Mark Ritter says:

    Agreed Hud.

    At this point I think Burke is better off waiting to make his big deals this summer, see what happens with Grabo, look for a goalie and make a decision on Schenn.

    I don’t see Burke pulling off a panic deal. More likely, he will look to add a player that has a good combination of youth and upside.

    That said, Brown would be perfect. His contract is on-point, he has leadership skills and he still has upside.

    Overpaying for Nash is not a good idea. The acquisition of Carter is great for LA in the short term, but I don’t think they are going to be happy with that contract as time goes by.

    we’ll see…???

  3. Hudson says:

    I think you are right. He might stay totally patient. And I was wrong on all fronts about those players and even wanting them. It’s good we didn’t go for them.

    Who knows, Carter could take off in LA…so yeah, we’ll see.

  4. Hudson says:

    They actually really are in the hunt for Nash…and you’re right about Brown.

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=388728

    “The Final Push on Hemsky and Nash?

    TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reported late on Thursday that the Edmonton Oilers are making a final push toward re-signing forward Ales Hemsky – with a two-year, $10 million offer on the table. Dreger stated that there is still a lot of teams interested in the forward if the Oilers can’t make a deal.

    Dreger also reports that the Maple Leafs are going to push Columbus for a decision on Rick Nash, and would like to know by Saturday which way they will go. He says the New York Rangers will likely do the same, and that Kings forward Brown is the Plan B.”

  5. Hudson says:

    My TV is off. The season is over. And they’re right on the Hotstove. Leafs should be sellers at this deadline. Wait for next year.

    And the next thing you know, all the pressure will be off, and they’ll start playing again. But they’ve lost me again and I’m not wasting my time watching this crap any more.

  6. Dave says:

    Dustin Brown? Two words….

    HELL YES!!!!

  7. Mark Ritter says:

    Burke has done a good job thus far. Sure, he’s made some errors, but he also hit home runs in acquiring Gardiner, Kessel and Lupul.

    His record for signing UFA’s is not great. Army, Beauchemin, Connolly, Komisarek and Versteeg were all busts—although Versteeg is having a great season in Florida.

    It would appear as if Burke’s best work has come via trade. With that in mind, I would say Burke’s best move may be to re-visit things in the summer and try to make a few deals to help the club not only now but for the future as well.

    They are not winning the Cup this season, so why sell the farm?

  8. i believe that burke should wait till the off season to deside on any trades etc etc

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