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1,000 games of love

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The always beloved face of the NHL

Winnipeg Jets v Los Angeles Kings
everyone loves Dustin
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

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.

Los Angeles Kings v Phoenix Coyotes - Game Five
shaking off a dirty hit, while a Coyote begs for Dustin’s forgiveness
Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

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.

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game Seven
Hertle vicously throwing his head at Dustin’s vulnerable elbow
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

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.

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game Two
explaining to the refs that his opponents are wearing their helmets improperly and how dangerous that is for them
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

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.