Dustin Brown is going to play his one thousandth NHL game tonight. He burst onto the Kings in the downward spiral injury plagued years of the early 2000s. He was named captain. He was nearly traded. He showed no ill will and then he led the Kings to two Cups. He gave up his captaincy to Anze Kopitar who Dustin feared may be getting discouraged that he wasn’t as cool. He stayed with the team and has been having a resurgent year (like a lot of guys) since Darryl Sutter left. He’s on pace to rival his career highs.
But we remember him most for being the beloved guy the whole NHL rallies behind. An American hero who is respected by all. A guy who always plays the game the right way.
He’s been a guy who’s been targeted by some less than classy individuals who populate the NHL, but Dustin is a guy who doesn’t let it bother him. He knows it’s a game, and some guys are just jealous of how much Dustin success has had and how adored he is. It’s not surprising, but just a tad disappointing.
Division rivals will always envy a leader who is a proven winner. It’s not surprising they are gonna take shots at him. But you come at the king, you best not miss.
We love you Dustin. Happy 1,000 games. I hope you keep sending postcards to Doan at his rest home, and business cards for orthopedic surgeons to Hertl.