A Month of Gratitude: Dustin Brown

On this very American holiday, we salute a very American King.

A season like this is tough to watch, and we all find ourselves being pretty hard on the Los Angeles Kings as they struggle to right the ship. For the rest of November, we’ll be taking some time each day to share why we’re thankful for each player on the team (and some Kings of years past). If you’d like to share your love for a Kings player, past or present, check out our call for submissions.

Today is a day for family and food and giving thanks and all of that great stuff, so we figured, what better way to celebrate than by celebrating our most American of (former) captains…

Dustin Brown

Lots of ink has been spilled on these digital pages about exactly how important Dustin Brown is to this team. It’s almost unimaginable in a way, given how eager Kings fans were just a few seasons ago to jettison Brown, who wasn’t scoring or doing much of anything other than hitting things, certainly not enough to justify his contract.

Well, how quickly things change.

Brown’s absence at the beginning of this season left the team a little adrift, and while of course there are bigger issues for the 2018-19 Kings than just one man’s presence or absence, the lack of Dustin Brown was felt especially on the power play, where his familiar net-front presence helps knock in a handful of goals every season.

Brown provides a combination of physicality, skill, and sheer force of will that has made him more valuable than anyone who isn’t a Kings fan can really quantify. We’ll try to break it down for you, though.

JFTC contributor Michael offered up that he’s thankful for “Dustin Brown’s resurgence and his calming influence in the locker room and in the stands.” And Robyn had this to share:

Yep, the Kings sure did look lost without Dustin Brown. And while the team’s still struggling more than we’d like to see this season, at least having him back in the room with all of the boys means that he’s there to be a good, stable influence on young players. As one of the longest tenured Kings, Brown has certainly seen it all.

So we’re thankful for Dustin Brown’s influence on the team, his goal-scoring, his remarkable physical durability for being someone who plays such a heavy game…

And we’re thankful for the lighter moments, too.

Heck, even Tyler Toffoli shared why he’s thankful for Dustin Brown in this recent article from Alex Prewitt on the most majestic of hockey fails, falling over:

“Literally it felt like the whole building stopped as I was sliding halfway through the zone,” Toffoli says. “It’s good because we have other guys on our team like [Dustin Brown], [Jake Muzzin] and Dion [Phaneuf] who are known for a couple toe-picks more than once in a while, so they took the pressure off. One of them probably fell later that game.”

Thank you, universe, for Dustin Brown.

From all of us here at JFTC to all of you, we hope you’re having a safe, fun, and loving holiday (or, in general, an excellent November 22nd, if the holiday isn’t your thing), no matter how you choose to spend it.

Previously in our “Month” of Gratitude series: Kyle Clifford | Nate Thompson | Mike Amadio | Paul LaDue | Jake Muzzin | Alec Martinez | Peter Budaj | Cal Petersen | Ilya Kovalchuk | Trevor Lewis