EL SEGUNDO (Calif.) Dustin BrownHe didn't want any distractions during his farewell tour so he waited until right before the last game of The Los Angeles KingsHe will soon be retiring from his regular season.
Brown, who is happy that his 18-season career has lasted a few more weeks than expected after the Kings' three-year absence, is thankful for the opportunity to return to the playoffs. He also hopes for another couple months.
Brown stated Friday that he can “walk away knowing I did what I could,” during a news conference at the Kings' training facility. “The Kings are in better shape than when I arrived,” Brown said.
It's an understatement. Brown was a key part of the Second Six's greatest years. This includes its Stanley Cup championship runs of 2012 and 2014. Brown is the Kings' only captain to receive the Cup in the postgame ceremony as a result of his eight-year tenure.
Together with Jonathan Quick, Anze Kopitar Drew DoughtyBrown stayed with the Kings during their recent struggles and came out on the other side. Los Angeles placed third in Pacific Division this season, with the highest points total since 2016. It was also eligible for a first round matchup with Edmonton.
Brown stated, “We took what it meant being a King to new heights, to new standards.”
Brown was not a great scorer, but his hard work and leadership were the hallmark of Darryl Sutter's team. His 3,632 career goals are the NHL's highest since 2005 when the league made it an official statistic.
Even though he was stripped of his captaincy by the Kings in 2016, he remained an outstanding veteran and handed it to Kopitar. He was a key player in the two-way, scoring nine goals and providing 19 assists.
Rob Blake, Kings general manger, stated that the organization is of paramount importance. In the Kings' rafters, 4 has been retired. It's special to be able captain the team you were drafted into, developed by, and celebrate two Stanley Cups.
Brown didn't choose to retire this year for any one reason, but he was considering it for several weeks. Brown and Nicole were both hockey players at high school in New York. Their California family now includes four children, all of whom are eager to meet their dad.
Brown stated that he doesn't think it is one thing. “I still feel quite good physically. There are days that are very difficult mentally. It's been other things that have weighed heavily on me. It comes time to move on. … “I'm proud of the things I've done, and I can leave with my head high.”
Brown's 18 seasons playing with the Kings are a franchise-record. He is grateful to have had the opportunity to play all of his career in one uniform. While he hasn't considered what the future holds for him beyond the playoffs he is planning to spend lots of time with his family who have missed him for many years.
Nicole Brown stated that her children don't know what it's like for them to have to move during the summer. “We are very grateful to the Kings for their help. This will be our home forever. It is our plan to remain here.